1 in 4 electric cars in Europe is expected to come from China – already this year

1 in 4 electric cars in Europe is expected to

In the last quarter of 2023, Chinese automaker BYD caused quite a stir by overtaking America’s Tesla as the largest manufacturer of electric cars in the world.

Of the electric cars sold in Europe in 2023, a whopping 19.5 percent were built in China, and according to a new report from the lobby group Transport & Environment that figure could reach 25 percent already this year.

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Not just domestic brands

In recent years, the European car market has been filled with new Chinese car brands that primarily focus on electric cars. MG, BYD and Zeekr are some examples.

However, a large part of the electric cars imported from China come from Western brands such as BMW, Tesla and Polestar.

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Tariffs not perfect protection

One of the main selling points for the Chinese electric cars is often that they are cheaper than their Western counterparts.

In recent months, the EU has been investigating whether cars built in China benefit unfairly from government subsidies, and whether punitive tariffs should therefore be imposed on them. However, the report believes that this does not protect European car brands from competition, as several Chinese brands plan to build their own factories in Europe.

According to the report, the basic problem is that electric car batteries built in China are around 20 percent cheaper than those built in Europe, while the production capacity is significantly higher.

The report therefore believes that increased investment in battery production within the EU is necessary.

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