A Chery Holding Group employee installs parts in a vehicle at the company’s plant in Wuhu, Anhui province. [Photo/Xinhua]

HEFEI – Production of new energy vehicles (NEVs) in East China’s Anhui province soared by 3.3 times year-on-year to 39,000 units in the first quarter of 2021, authorities said Saturday.

Among them, the US-listed NIO produced 20,060 units, up 423 percent year-on-year. It is the first time for the company to exceed a quarterly production of 20,000 units, according to the provincial department of economy and information technology.

The Chery Automobile Co produced 14,100 NEVs from January to March, up 405 percent year-on-year.

With automaking as a pillar industry, Anhui has nearly 1,000 major companies, or those with an annual turnover of at least 20 million yuan ($3 million), engaged in the auto industry.

The soaring NEV production came amid government push and rising market enthusiasm for eco-friendly cars. In November last year, China unveiled a development plan for its NEV industry from 2021 to 2035 that aims to accelerate the country’s transition into an automotive powerhouse.

China will further promote the high-quality development of NEVs by advancing the integration of technologies such as electrification and intelligent networking, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.