Sales of zero emission trucks and buses in China boomed in the last two months of 2022 (here’s a mid-term update, published in October). In particular, ahead of the cancellation of national subsidies in January 2023, registration of new energy buses and trucks in December peaked at a total of 67,000 units, an increase of 121% year-on-year. During the year, sales of new energy buses and trucks in China reached an all-time high, totaling 238,000 units, an increase of 90% on 2021.

All these data were provided by Shirly Zhu, principal analyst at Interact Analysis. Total registrations stood at 238,000 in 2022, accounting for 9.2% of total commercial vehicle registrations, up by 6 percentage points from 2021. In the truck segment, registrations doubled compared with 2021 to over 99,000 units, of which, light-duty trucks accounted for 72,000, an annual growth rate of 95%, giving it an overall share of 73% of the new energy truck market.


Zero emission trucks in China: what’s happening in 2023?

Shirly Zhu highlighted the fact that from January 1st, 2023, a decade-long national subsidy from the Chinese government for new energy vehicles was officially scrapped. This indicates that sales of China’s new energy buses and trucks are transitioning from policy-driven to market-driven. Coupled with the ‘last minute rush’ buying in December 2022 (registrations soared to 67,000 units) and the impact of the Chinese New Year holiday, sales of new energy commercial vehicles are anticipated to take a hit during the first couple of months of 2023. The market is expected to experience a ‘gradual upward’ trend throughout the year, reaching around 300,000 units.

In 2023, new energy light-duty trucks and buses will retain the lead in terms of sales. Additionally, the fuel cell vehicle segment will remain robust in 2023 – with new projects rolling out in many regions. It’s worth mentioning that exports of new energy buses and trucks have accelerated in the past couple of years, reaching more than 35,000 units in 2022. According to Mrs Zhu’s analysis, this trend will maintain its growth momentum in 2023 and onwards.


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