In this undated photo, drivers charge their electric vehicles at a charging facility in Tongren, Guizhou province. (PHOTO / CHINA DAILY)

BEIJING — New-energy vehicles (NEVs) will continue to be the main growth driver for China's auto market in 2023, according to Fitch Ratings.

The annual growth rate of China's NEV market is expected to exceed 30 percent this year, and global automakers may accelerate the electrification process and adjust their strategies in China, Yang Jing, director of Asia-Pacific corporate research at Fitch Ratings, said at a recent conference.

The country's measures to promote NEVs in rural areas as well as cheaper new battery materials may help small and mini electric vehicles regain growth, Yang added.

READ MORE: China's NEV sales surge 85.6% in April

Earlier this month, China released a guideline to support people living in rural areas to purchase and use NEVs, with a focus on boosting the construction of charging infrastructures.

Industry data shows that China's NEV development has been on a fast track. The output and sales of NEVs were 2.29 million and 2.22 million in the first four months of this year, respectively, both surging 42.8 percent year on year.