BEIJING (Reuters) - China, the world's biggest vehicle market, is expected to sell 1.7 million new energy vehicles (NEV) in the first eight months of this year, up from 600,000 units in the same period last year, vice industry minister said on Saturday.
The comments were made by Xin Guobin, vice minister at China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, at an industry conference in Tianjin hosted by China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC). NEV include battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
NEV makers such as Nio Inc, BYD and Tesla Inc are expanding manufacturing capacity in China, encouraged by the government's promotion of greener vehicles to cut pollution.
Xin said overall auto sales are expected to hit over 16 million vehicles between January and August, up around 10% from 2020. But he warned that the coronavirus-induced global auto chip supply shortage still remains a pressure point on China's auto production.
He said authorities will continue to curb blind construction of NEV projects and will improve supply of key metals including cobalt, lithium and nickel. Automakers should protect vehicle data security and customer privacy, Xin added.
(Reporting by Yilei Sun and Brenda Goh; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)