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Listed here are the best-selling electrical vehicles in China up to now this yr

A Tesla salesman (L) speaks to a visitor who is sitting in a Tesla Model Y car at a Tesla showroom in Beijing on January 5, 2021.

Wang Zhao | AFP | Getty Images

BEIJING – Tesla took two of the top three spots for the best-selling electric car models in China, industry data for the first three quarters of the year showed.

According to the China Passenger Car Association on Wednesday, this is way ahead of start-up rivals such as Xpeng and Nio.

Here is the association list of the 15 best-selling New Energy Vehicles in China for the first three quarters of 2021:

1. Hongguang-Mini (SAIC-GM-Wuling)
2. Model 3 (Tesla)
3. Model Y (Tesla)
4. Han (BYD)
5. Qin Plus DM-i (BYD)
6. Li One (Li Auto)
7. BenBen EV (Changan)
8. Aion S (GAC motor spin-off)
9. eQ (Chery)
10. Ora Black Cat (Engine of the Great Wall)
11. P7 (Xpeng)
12. Song DM (BYD)
13.Nezha V (Hozon Auto)
14. Clever (SAIC Roewe)
15. Qin Plus EV (BYD)

Elon Musk's automaker sold more than 200,000 electric cars in China during those three quarters – 92,933 Model Y and 111,751 Model 3, according to the Passenger Car Association.

China accounted for about a fifth of Tesla's sales last year. The US automaker began shipping its second Chinese-made vehicle, the Model Y, earlier this year. The company also launched a cheaper version of the car in July.

Tesla's shares are up nearly 15% so far this year, while Nio's US-listed shares are down more than 25% and Xpeng is down nearly 7% in that time.

On a monthly basis, the data showed that the best-selling electric car in China in September remained the budget Hongguang Mini – a tiny vehicle developed by General Motors' joint venture with Wuling Motors and state-owned SAIC Motor.

Tesla's Model Y was the second best-selling electric car in China in September, followed by the older Tesla Model 3, data from the car association showed.

Sales of New Energy Vehicles – a category that includes hybrids and all-battery cars – rose amid Beijing's support for the industry. However, car sales in September collapsed for the fourth month in a row compared to the previous year.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

The Chinese battery and electric car manufacturer BYD dominated the New Energy Vehicles bestseller list in September with five of the 15 best-selling cars, according to data from the Passenger Car Association.

Xpeng's P7 sedan took 10th place while none of Nio's models made the top 15 list. In fact, Nio hasn't been on that monthly list since May when the Nio ES6 was ranked 15th.

Some in China's auto industry have expressed doubts about the accuracy of the association's numbers.

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