Tesla Xiaopeng Wei comes to BYD to be the best-selling electric car in 2021

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On January 5, 2021, in the Tesla showroom in Beijing, a Tesla salesperson (left) sits in a Tesla Model Y car and talks to a visitor.

Wang Zhao | AFP | Getty Images

BEIJING-Industry data for the first three quarters of this year shows that Tesla has two seats in the top three of China’s best-selling electric vehicle models.

According to data released by the China Passenger Car Association on Wednesday, this is far ahead of start-up competitors such as Xiaopeng and Weilai.

The following is the 15 best-selling list of China’s new energy vehicles in the first three quarters of 2021 announced by the association:

1. Hongguang Mini (SAIC-GM-Wuling)
2. Model 3 (Tesla)
3. Model Y (Tesla)
4. South Korea (BYD)
5. Qinjia DM-i (BYD)
6. Li Yi (Li Auto)
7. IBen EV (Changan)
8. Aion S (Guangzhou Automobile Spin-off)
9.eQ (Chery)
10. Euler Black Cat (Great Wall Motors)
11. P7 (Xpeng)
12. Song DM (BYD)
13. Nezha V (monk car)
14. Smart (SAIC Roewe)
15. Qinjia EV (BYD)

According to data from the Passenger Vehicle Association, Elon Musk’s automaker sold more than 200,000 electric vehicles in China during these three quarters—92,933 Model Y and 111,751 Model 3.

Last year, China accounted for about one-fifth of Tesla’s revenue. The US-based automaker began delivering its second Chinese-made car Model Y at the beginning of this year. The company also launched a cheaper car in July.

Tesla’s share price has risen by nearly 15% so far this year, while Weilai’s share price in the US has fallen by more than 25%, and Xiaopeng Motors has fallen by nearly 7% over the same period.

On a monthly basis, data shows that the best-selling electric car in China in September was still the budget Hongguang Mini, a mini car developed by a joint venture between General Motors, Wuling Motors and the state-owned SAIC Motor.

According to data from the Passenger Car Association, Tesla’s Model Y was the second-selling electric car in China in September, followed by the older Tesla Model 3.

With Beijing’s support for the industry, sales of new energy vehicles (including hybrid vehicles and pure electric vehicles) have climbed. However, passenger car sales in September fell for the fourth consecutive month year-on-year.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

According to data from the Passenger Vehicle Association, Chinese battery and electric vehicle company BYD dominated the new energy vehicle bestseller list in September, accounting for 5 of the top 15 vehicles sold.

The Xiaopeng P7 sedan ranked 10th, while none of Weilai’s models entered the top 15. In fact, since Weilai ranked 15th in ES6 in May, Weilai has not appeared on the monthly list.

Some people in the Chinese automobile industry have questioned the accuracy of the association’s data.

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