Chinese EV stocks: The complete 2024 guide (and the best to buy)

While Tesla and many legacy automakers such as Volkswagen and Toyota continue to increase electric vehicle sales, investors keen to gain exposure to EV penetration cannot ignore Chinese EV stocks.

China’s EV sector is no longer a sleeping giant. It is simply a giant.

International Energy Agency (IEA) Data shows 10 million EVs were sold across the globe in 2022. 60% of those sales were in China. So, China is by far the largest EV market in the world.

What makes Chinese EV stocks even more compelling is the fact that over 99% of EVs sold in China are made in China.

Further strengthening the case for Chinese EV stocks is the export market. Here’s what the IEA says about global EV exports.

“Over the past five years, the share of global electric car exports coming from China has increased more than eightfold, with China becoming the largest exporter in 2021 and the gap further widening in 2022. The share of electric car exports from the United States peaked in 2019 and has since fallen below the levels exported from China, Korea and Europe.

So, how can investors get in on the action?

First, buying Chinese EV stocks (or any Chinese stocks) from anywhere in the world is usually quite simple. This Asia Markets Guide provides a comprehensive overview of various ways to buy Chinese stocks.

The key is knowing which stocks to buy. So, to help we’ve conducted extensive research to compile what is the ultimate guide to every Chinese EV stock.

Read on.

From budget EVs to million-dollar luxury electric hypercars and there’s even a flying EV manufacturer in this list!

NIO Inc. (NYSE: NIO)

Founded in 2014 by Chinese entrepreneur William Li, NIO is a relatively young automaker. However, the Shanghai-based company has grown rapidly to become arguably the most well-known Chinese EV stock. It is often referred to as the Tesla of China.

NIO has traditionally been viewed as a premium/luxury EV brand, but the company has recently announced plans to launch new brands for more budget-conscious buyers.

NIO designs and manufactures its EVs, with four production facilities across China. In 202 NIO manufactured 122,486 vehicles, with deliveries excepted to increase by around 30% in 2023.

One interesting developing from NIO is 2023 has been the announcement of plans to expedite the roll out of batter swap stations across China. These stations allow NIO drivers to rent the batteries in their vehicles and swap them at the stations for fully-recharged batteries – the process taking just minutes.

Nio is planning to roll out 2,300 battery swap stations across China and 70 across Europe by the end of 2023.

NIO stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (ADRs) and the Hong Kong Exchange. The company recorded a gross profit of US$745.8 million for the full year of 2022.

XPeng Inc. (NYSE: XPEV)

2014 seems to be year Chinese entrepreneurs went all-in on EVs. Along with NIO, Xpeng was also founded in 2014.

Henry Xia and He Tao are the company’s founders – both are former senior executives at state-owned auto manufacturer Guangzhou Automobile Group.

XPeng is also seen in the EV industry as a Tesla rival, as it focusses on premium smart features and autonomous driving technology. The company lays claim to being the first to mass-produce an electric vehicle that uses LiDAR autonomous navigation technology. LiDAR uses laser pulses to generate 3D mappings of a vehicles surrounds which aid the vehicle’s navigation decisions.

In 2022, XPeng produced 120,757 electric vehicles, with the company reporting a net loss of US$1.33 billion for the year.

In 2023, it was announced German auto giant Volkswagen was acquiring a 5% stake in XPeng and the companies had agreed to a deal that would see XPeng develop two EV models to be sold in China under the Volkswagen brand.

XPeng is headquartered in Guangzhou.

XPeng stock can be bought on the New York Stock Exchange (ADRs) and on the Hong Kong Exchange.

Li Auto Inc. (NASDAQ: LI)

Along with NIO and XPeng, Li Auto is another Chinese EV stock that is viewed as a Tesla challenger as it targets the similar premium smart EV segment of the market.

LI Auto was founded in 2015 by Li Xiang, a Chinese internet mogul who is also know as the founder of Autohome Inc, the leading Chinese auto news and vehicle marketplace website.

The main factor that differentiates the Li Auto business model from the likes of NIO and XPeng has been the company’s focus on extended-range plug-in hybrid family SUVs. These vehicle include a gas-powered generator that can charge the battery while driving, providing a longer range than standard EVs.

In late 2023, however, Li Auto plans to launch its first pure battery electric vehicle model, the Li Mega. The Li Mega will be a premium vehicle with its main selling point being a 800 kilometre range and a battery that can be fully charged in 15 minutes. The company has also announced plans to add an additional 5 battery electric vehicle models to its lineup by 2025.

To complement Li Auto’s ambitions EV plans, the company plans to have built more than 300 EV “supercharging stations” along Chinese highways by the end of 2023, and is targeting 3,000 stations across China by 2025.

Li Auto delivered 133,246 of its hybrid EVs in 2022, a 47.2% increase from 2021. For the 2022 full year, the company posted a profit of US$1.27 billion.

You can buy Li Auto stock on the NASDAQ or on the Hong Kong Exchange.

Li Auto SUV chinese ev stocks
Li Auto’s Flagship Smart SUV, the Li L9. The vehicle was launched in June 2022.

BYD Company Limited (HKG: 1211)

Founded in 1995, BYD Company was originally a diversified Chinese conglomerate with a primary focus on manufacturing mobile phone batteries and other electronics, but in the mid-2000’s the company began to turn its focus to EVs.

As of 2022, the company’s core focus is now on EV manufacturing, with various other smaller business units that focus on handset components and assembly services, lithium battery manufacturing, photovoltaics (solar), and urban rail.

The company attracted global attention in 2008, when Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway acquired a 10% stake for US$230m. At the time Buffet’s offsider, Charlie Munger, praised BYD founder Wang Chuanfu. He said:

“This guy is a combination of Thomas Edison and Jack Welch – something like Edison in solving technical problems, and something like Welch in getting done what he needs to do.”

Munger’s faith in BYD’s management paid off. Since then, the company has made enormous progress in the EV space. It has becoming the top selling EV company in China, and also holds the mantle as the world’s top selling EV brand in 2022.

Along with a share of over 33% of the enormous Chinese EV market, BYD has also entered more than 50 countries globally, exporting around 56,000 EVs in 2022.

One competitive advantage of BYD is the fact its battery manufacturing business unit is one of the biggest in the world, meaning it can use those batteries in its EVs, providing cost savings that other EV manufacturers (that have to buy batteries) can’t achieve. In fact, BYD manufactures EV batteries for many of its competitors, including Tesla.

This has enabled BYD to gain market share with a range of lower-cost EV models.

For US investors, buying BYD shares is a little bit more tricky than the likes on NIO, XPengs and Li Auto. You have to access either the Hong Kong Exchange or the Chinese mainland Shenzhen Exchange to buy BYD stock.

Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd (HKG: 0175)

Geely Auto has an extensive global footprint.

The company manufactures EVs under two main subsidiary brands – Geely (mass-market hybrid and battery EVs) and Zeekr (premium battery EVs). However, it also owns significant stakes in and manages various global auto companies, all with a focus on EV development and manufacturing. These include:

  • Volvo
  • Lynk&Co
  • Geometry
  • Polestar
  • Lotus
  • London Electric Vehicle Company
  • Farizon Auto
  • RADAR AUTO
  • Cao Cao Mobility

Geely has powertrain manufacturing plants in China, the United States, United Kingdom, Sweden, Belgium, and Malaysia.

The Group exported 198,242 units of vehicle in 2022, up by 72% from 2021. Despite this, exports only accounted for 13.8% of the Group’s total sales volume during the year, as China remains its key market.

The Geely Group is also a great success story for its founder Li Shufu who still owns a large stake of the Group. Shufu is the son of farmers from eastern China.

Geely Automobile Holdings Stock can be bought on the Hong Kong Exchange, while the various companies within the group, including Volvo (STO: VOLCAR-B), Polestar (NASDAQ: PSNY) are listed on global exchanges.

Xiaomi Corp (HKG: 1810)

Xiaomi is a Chinese smart phone manufacturing giant, which is now hoping to also become a Chinese EV manufacturing giant.

In 2021, Xiaomi announced it is investing US$10 billion over ten years into the development of a mass-market EV manufacturing business, known as Xiaomi EV.

More recently in 2023, the company received approval from China’s National Development and Reform Commission to begin manufacturing 100,000 vehicles annually at a new EV factory in Beijing’s Economic-Technological Development Area.

All eyes are now of the first Xiaomi EV to roll off the production line, which is expected in early 2024. The model is expected to been known as the Xiaomi Modena, with a price range of US$38,350 – $51,650.

While not a pure-play EV company, Xiaomi stock provides exposure to a developing EV businesses backed by one of China’s most well-known tech manufacturing companies.

The company listed on the Hong Kong Exchange.

Chongqing Changan Automobile (SHE: 000625)

Changan Automobile is a Chinese state-owned auto manufacturing with ambitious EV production goals. In 2017 it announced plans to cease production of traditionally-fuelled vehicles by 2025.

Today, Changan markets EVs under three brands – Qiyuan, Deepal and Avatr. The company has said it is aiming to invest a total of US$27.4 billion by 2030 into EV development and will add more than 10,000 R&D staff.

The company is not content on maintaining a dominant position in China’s auto landscape it also wants to be a dominate player globally, with goals for overseas market sales to account for 15% of total sales by 2025, and 30% by 2030.

In April 2023, Changan commenced construction of an EV manufacturing facility in Thailand at a cost of US$285 million. The factory will supply vehicles to key markets including Thailand, Southeast Asia, Australia, and South Africa.

Chongqing Changan Automobile shares trade on China’s Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

SAIC Motor Corp Ltd (SHA: 600104)

SAIC Motor Corp is China’s largest automaker and is in the top 100 largest companies in the world according to Fortune.

The state-owned company is headquartered in Shanghai. It delivered operating revenues of over US$110 billion and sold 5.3 million vehicles in 2022, making it China’s largest automaker.

While the majority of those sales were traditional autos, SAIC, like most other legacy Chinese automakers, is turning its focus to EV manufacturing. In 2022, it became the first Chinese company to sell over one million new energy vehicles in one year. Then, in April 2023, the company announced it is aiming to manufacture 3.5 million EVs annually by 2025.

Currently SAIC designs and manufactures EV which are sold globally under the SAIC brand, along with 3 other brands it owns – MG Motors, IM Motors, and Rising Auto.

The various brands and models cater for all market segments.

SAIC also manufactures solid-state EV batteries, which the company claims have superior safety performance at lower costs. These batteries are being mass-produced from 2024.

SAIC Motor Corp stock trades on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Dongfeng Motor Group Co Ltd (HKG: 0489)

Based in Wuhan, Dongfeng is another major state-owned carmaker.

Over the past decade the company has entered into various strategic manufacturing and sales partnerships with well-known foreign automakers including, Honda, Kia Motors, Nissan, PSA Peugeot Citroen, and Renault.

When it comes to EV’s, Dongfeng has a new energy vehicle segment which delivered 346,100 vehicles in 2022.

It’s current major EV-only brands are VOYAH (a high-end EV brand), Lingxi (a Dongfeng-Honda joint venture premium EV brand), and Nammi (a budget mini EV brand).

The Nammi, which was launched in August 2023, became the first mass-market EV to use a solid state battery, which are said to provide faster charging times, extended battery life, and longer driving ranges.

Dongfeng EVs are primarily sold in China, but the company is attempting to expand into more overseas markets in the years to come.

The Group’s stock is listed on the Hong Kong Exchange.

Chinese EV stocks
The Dongfeng Nammi mini-EV was launched in August 2023 and aimed at budget-conscious EV buyers.

Apollo Future Mobility Group (HKG: 0860)

Apollo FMG is a stock for those looking for exposure to high-end luxury sport EVs. The company specialises in the design and manufacturing what it calls “high performance hypercars”.

For context this is what Apollo’s flagship hypercar, the Apollo Intensa Emozione (Apollo IE) looks like…

How much is one Apollo IE? Around US$2.8 million (not a typo). During 2022, Apollo reported sales of four Apollo IEs.

So if this what Apollo has been doing with traditional vehicles for over a decade, imagine what’s in store for its EVs.

In 2021, Apollo unveiled two concept EV sports cars – the EVision Electric Sedan and the EVision X SUV. It is aiming to commence production of both vehicle by the end of 2023.

Moving beyond 2023 the company says, “our product roadmap will focus on the transition from ICE to electrification with a focus on Hyper-Design, Hyper-Tech, Hyper-Powertrain for the highest standard of luxury electrification.”

Interestingly along with its Mobile Technology Solution business, Apollo FMG has two other key business segments – a wholesale jewel and watches business and a money lending segment which provides finance for its vehicles.

The company has various influential major shareholders within China, Hong Kong and Macau. Its Chairman, Ho King-fung, owns just over 11% of the company. He is a former JP Morgan analyst and the nephew of former chief executive of the Macau Government, Edmund Ho Hau-wah.

Apollo FMG shares are listed on the Hong Kong Exchange.

Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd (HKG: 2238)

You’ve come this far into our guide to Chinese EV stocks… This will make it worth the read – an electric flying car!

In June 2023, the Guangzhou Automobile Group unveiled the world’s first electric flying car, called the GOVE.

The Gove is a remotely piloted single-passenger prototype car/aircraft that could one day be used as an air taxi service. GOVE is an acronym for Guangzhou Automobile Group On-the-go Vertical flight Electric vehicle.

Take a look at the video below.

At the time of writing this guide, Guangzhou Automobile Group have not provided a timeline for production of the GOVE.

But who is Guangzhou Automobile Group?

Well, while they are producing some extraordinary concept vehicle, this is no concept stock. The Group is currently the fifth-largest automaker in China.

The flying cars development was announced in 2022, but Guangzhou Auto has been involved in EV manufacturing and charging station development since 2019 via its EV subsidiary GAC Aion.

Aion manufactures various electrics sedans, station wagon and hatchback models in the mid-range price category.

Guangzhou Auto delivered over 2.4 million vehicles to Chinese and international buyers in 2022. Of this 271,156 were new energy vehicles.

The state-owned company is listed on the Hong Kong Exchange.

FAW Jiefang Group Co Ltd (SHE: 000800)

Few Jiefang is China’s largest manufacturer of trucks. The company, headquartered in Changchun, has a rich history dating back to 1956.

You’re probably thinking, why is this on the Chinese EV stocks list? Well, enter… electric trucks.

In 2021 the Group announced plans to invest US$4.6. billion into the development of battery powered, hybrid and fuel cell electric trucks. It said it aims to become an industry leader in the electrified truck segment by 2030 and set sales targets of 120,000 electric vehicles by 2025, and 320,000 sales by 2030.

The 2023 target would represent around 50% of total company revenue.

FAW currently produces a series of what it calls New Energy Light Trucks which have a benchmark range of 200 kilometres. The trucks use batteries manufactured by Chinese battery giant, CATL.

In 2022, FAW and CATL engaged in a multi-million dollar joint venture aimed at supercharging the development of new energy trucks.

FAW shares can be traded on China’s Shenzhen Stock Exchange.

Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd (HKG: 1114)

If you like the prospect of BMW EV sales growth in China, then the way to play it is via Brilliance China Automotive stock.

The holding company has been engaged in a joint venture with the famous BMW Group, which sees it manufacture and sell BMW vehicles in China. BMW’s Neue Klasse is an example of a BMW EV platform manufactured by Brilliance at its factory in the city of Shenyang.

BMW and Brilliance have also co-invested in a new Chinese factory that will produce next-generation batteries for BMW EVs from 2026.

The German-listed BMW AG is the majority owner of Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. Its shares are listed in Hong Kong.

Hozon Auto (IPO expected soon)

Here’s a smaller pure-play Chinese EV manufacturer to watch.

The company focusses on EV sales on China’s mainland and in the growing Southeast Asia market.

Its flagship EV is the Neta, which has an entry-level model that sells for just over US$10,000. The vehicles are currently sold in China, Thailand, Myanmar and Nepal.

It’s expected 300,000 Neta vehicles will be sold in 2023.

Along with three factories in China, in March 2023 Hozon announced it will build a factory in Thailand that will commence production in late 2024.

Then in July 2023, it also announced a joint venture with an Indonesian company to produce EVs for the Indonesia market.

According to reports, Hozon is preparing for a US$1 billion Hong Kong Exchange IPO.

Warning: not all Chinese EV stocks will be winners

Despite enormous Government policy tailwinds and increasing demand, it hasn’t all been smooth-sailing for Chinese EV manufacturers. Here are some cautionary tales.

Shanghai-based EV startup Aiways, which is backed by Internet giant Tencent, has faced major cashflow issues in 2023 and reportedly delayed staff salaries multiple times.

Another Chinese EV startup, Byton filed for bankruptcy in June 2023, despite attracting key executives from the likes BMW and Tesla.

Singulato Motors is another Chinese EV company that collapsed in 2023. Despite grand plans for mass-market EV production, the company reportedly raised over $2 billion in various fund raising rounds and never delivered any vehicles.

Which Chinese EV stock is the best for 2024?

Knowing which Chinese EV stock is the best, or will be the best performing investment in the coming years is almost impossible. It’s best investors diversify across a number of Chinese EV stocks with trusted management teams and good company fundamentals. The Chinese EV stocks that stand out in this regarded are BYD Company, NIO, XPeng Li Auto, and Geely Automobile.

However, if you’re sure you want to invest in Chinese EV stocks you should do your own in-depth research and remember any stock market investment comes with risk.