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Tesla Xpeng Nio BYD Top Selling EVs in 2021

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A Tesla salesperson (left) speaks to a customer sitting in a Tesla Model Y vehicle at the Tesla showroom in Beijing on January 5, 2021.

Wang Zhao | AFP | Getty Images

BEIJING. According to industry data for the first three quarters of the year, Tesla ranked two out of three in the top three best-selling electric vehicle models in China.

It is well ahead of rival startups such as Xpeng and Nio, according to figures released by the China Passenger Car Association on Wednesday.

Here is a list of the 15 best-selling new energy vehicles in China for the first three quarters of 2021:

1. Hongguan Mini (SAIC-GM-Wuling)
2. Model 3 (Tesla)
3. Model Y (Tesla)
4. Khan (BYD)
5.Qin Plus DM-i (BYD)
6. Lee One (Lee Auto)
7. BenBen E.V. (Changan)
8. Aion S (subsidiary of GAC Motor)
9.eQ (Chery)
10. Ora Black Cat (Great Wall Motor)
11.P7 (Xpeng)
12. Song DM (BYD)
13. Nezha V (Hozon Auto)
14. Smart (SAIC Roewe)
15. Qin Plus EV (BYD)

According to the Passenger Car Association, automaker Elon Musk sold over 200,000 EVs in China in those three quarters – 92933 Model Y and 111751 Model 3.

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Last year, China accounted for about one-fifth of Tesla’s revenue. Earlier this year, the American automaker began shipping its second Chinese-made Model Y car. The company also released a cheaper version of the car in July.

Tesla shares are up nearly 15% this year, while US-registered Nio shares have dropped more than 25%, and Xpeng has lost almost 7% in that time.

Monthly data showed that the best-selling electric car in China in September remains the budget-friendly Hongguang Mini, a tiny car developed by General Motors’ joint venture with Wuling Motors and state-owned SAIC Motor.

The Tesla Model Y was the second best-selling electric vehicle in China in September, followed by the older Tesla Model 3, according to the passenger car association.

Sales of new energy vehicles – a category that includes hybrids and battery-only vehicles – surged on the back of Beijing’s support for the industry. However, in September, passenger car sales as a whole fell year-on-year for the fourth straight month.

Learn more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

According to the light car association, Chinese battery and electric vehicle company BYD dominated the new energy car bestseller list in September, accounting for five of the top 15 cars sold.

The Xpeng P7 sedan ranked 10th while none of the Nio models made it to the top 15. In fact, Nio hasn’t been on this monthly list since May, when Nio ES6 ranked 15th.

Some in China’s auto industry have questioned the accuracy of the association’s data.


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