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Global electric car sales in February hurt by China’s New Year celebrations

Global sales of fully electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) rose at a tepid rate of 3% in February versus the same period last year mainly due to the impact of the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations, market research firm Rho Motion said on Wednesday.

The company said global sales hit 800,000 units. Sales in Europe grew 12% versus February of last year and rose 31% in the U.S. and Canada, but they fell 12% in China.

“The reason for the lower growth is because China is still the dominant market” for electric cars, Charles Lester, data manager at Rho Motion, told Reuters.

Sales demand for electric cars has cooled in recent months after rising dramatically for several years, as consumers wait for more affordable models to hit the market.

Lester said sales in China are up 34% so far this year, which he said provides a better indication of the performance of the market given that China’s Lunar New Year last year fell in January.

Rho Motion expects global electric car sales to rise between 25% and 30% this year, Lester said.



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