China's new energy vehicle (NEV) production and sales continued to hit new highs in October, driven by the country's initiative of accelerating its transformation to a low-carbon society.
Output of NEVs reached 397,000 in October, up sharply by 133.2pc from a year earlier and by 7.2pc from September. Sales also increased by 134.9pc over the same period and by 7.2pc from September to 383,000 units, according to data from the China Automotive Manufacturers Association (CAAM). China's NEV sales in October accounted for 16.4pc of its total vehicle sales, with an 18.2pc share for new energy passenger vehicles, according to CAAM.
NEV output and sales during January-October reached 2.566mn and 2.542mn units, up by 175.3pc and 176.6pc from a year earlier, with the share of NEVs reaching 12.1pc of the country's total vehicle sales over the period.
Beijing has announced a development plan for the NEV industry for 2021-35, targeting a 20pc share of NEVs in the country's total vehicle sales by 2025. Current fast growth in the NEV market is expected to help it achieve this target in advance within the next two years. Beijing is also eyeing a 40pc share of NEVs in China's total vehicles by 2030, double from the target of 20pc by 2025, according to an action plan issued by the country's state council in October.
Robust demand from the NEV sector has bolstered lithium and cobalt salts prices in the past year. Argus on 9 November assessed prices for 99.5pc grade carbonate and 56.5pc grade lithium hydroxide, key raw materials in production of lithium-ion batteries used in electric vehicles, at 195,000-203,000 yuan/t ($30,512-31,764/t) ex-works and Yn191,000-199,000/t ex-works respectively, the highest since Argus launched these assessments in 2016. Cobalt sulphate, another essential ingredient in battery production, was assessed at Yn89,500-92,500/t ex-works on 9 November, having risen by 61pc since the start of this year.