China consumers bought twice as many battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) last year as they did hybrids, the China Automotive Review reported, citing the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

Automakers sold 5,655 BEVs and 2,713 hybrids in 2011, according to CAAM statistics. Last year was the first year CAAM broke out statistics for advanced-powertrain vehicle sales and production.

China is expected to overtake the U.S. and other parts of the world in these sorts of vehicle sales as government plans that encourage zero-emissions vehicles go into effect during the next few years and companies like BYD expand BEV production. Overall, Asia-Pacific will account for about 617,000 electric-drive vehicles sold in 2017, almost double North America's total, green-technology research firm Pike Research estimated last year. China passenger vehicle sales totaled 14.5 million units last year, up 5.2 percent from a year earlier, according to CAAM.