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China's autonomous vehicle sales set to surge to 13.5 million units in 2040

The autonomous vehicle sector sees great development potential in the coming years amid government support and rising demand.

China’s autonomous vehicle sector has great potential to grow further, with sales set to surge to 13.5 million vehicles valued at US$360 billion in 2040, on government support and rising demand, an automotive forum in Shanghai heard yesterday.

“The market for autonomous vehicles is going to be huge in China,” said Adon Tian, senior engagement manager at consulting firm McKinsey & Company, at the automotive forum held by AmCham Shanghai.

“The number of autonomous passenger cars is expected at around 8 million units in 2030 and 13.5 million units in 2040,” Tian said.

The sales of autonomous passenger cars in China are forecast to reach US$230 billion by 2030 and soar to US$360 billion by 2040, Tian added.

China is actively promoting the development of intelligent and connected vehicles through favorable policies, testing them in demonstration zones and issuing road testing licenses. National demonstrations areas were set up in Shanghai, Beijing, Hebei, Changchun, Wuhan, Chongqing and Hangzhou to test out intelligent and connected vehicles.

In January, China sought opinions for innovation and development of intelligent and connected vehicles.

China also established the National Intelligent Connected Automobile Standard Committee in December last year to organize and promote standard-related work.

Chinese consumers have also shown a strong interest in autonomous vehicles — a move which is expected to drive the industry development.

According to McKinsey’s report, 49 percent of Chinese consumers think autonomous driving is very important, a higher figure than the 16 percent in Germany and United States. 

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