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Electric Cars Are China Auto Industry's Lone Bright Spot

  • New-energy car sales jump 138% to 85,000 units in January
  • Planned end to subsidies by 2020 spurs purchases of NEVs
Inside The Beijing International Automotive Exhibition
Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg
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Electric cars are holding their own in China, the world’s biggest auto market, even as the industry has seen a slump in overall sales for seven straight months.

Deliveries of new-energy passenger vehicles, which include pure-battery, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell cars, more than doubled to 85,000 units in January, fueled by a rush before the government scales back subsidies for the zero- and low-emission automobiles by 2020. By contrast, total passenger car sales tumbled almost 18 percent to 2.02 million units in the month, according to data this week from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.