China's state planner warns intensified EV price war on oversupply

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's state planner expects an intensified price war among automakers of electric cars and plug-in hybrids this year because of overhanging supply, among other issues, the government body said in a statement on Monday.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) expected more than 110 new energy vehicle models among a total of 150 new cars launched this year, intensifying competition.

NDRC also estimated the market demand for new energy vehicles, including EVs and plug-in hybrids, to grow 2.1 million units this year, but BYD , Aito and Li Auto, the three top NEV brands, had planned increase deliveries by 2.3 million units for 2024, signaling oversupply.

Falling battery costs and economies of scale will be the other two main reasons for price cuts in NEVs, which will range from 5% to 10% this year in the southern city of Shenzhen, a metropolis with high EV adoption, NDRC said.

BYD and Denza cars have been leading the price cuts with reductions of 7.15% to 9.7% to the prices of five models in April compared with those at the beginning of the year, according to NDRC.

Li Auto cut prices on four of its models, following the moves by Tesla and BYD.

(Reporting by Zhang Yan and Brenda Goh. Editing by Gerry Doyle)