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China-made vehicles will comprise a quarter of Europe’s EV sales this year, study shows

According to a recent policy analysis, China-made electric vehicles will account for more than a quarter of all EV sales in Europe this year, up more than 5% from the previous year.

According to the European Federation for Transport and Environment (T&E), over 19.5% of battery-powered EVs sold in the EU last year came from China, with EVs exported from the Asian country accounting for nearly a third of sales in France and Spain.

According to T&E research, the share of made-in-China vehicles in the region will climb to slightly more than 25% by 2024, as Chinese firms such as BYD expand globally.

While the majority of EVs sold in the EU are manufactured and shipped from China by Western companies such as Tesla, Chinese brands alone are expected to account for 11% of the region’s market by 2024. T&E estimated that share will reach 20% by 2027.

The findings come as the European Commission investigates subsidies offered to Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers to see if they unjustly undercut local competitors. Non-Chinese brands that ship from China, such as Tesla and BMW, may be involved in the ongoing subsidy inquiry.

According to Tu Le, founder of Sino Auto Insights, incentives implemented in China in the early 2010s resulted in a spike in startups and expanded battery cell production in the country, paving the way for affordable electric vehicles.

“The EU and the US are so far behind because they don’t have quality EVs at affordable prices because the legacy automakers have only really recently focused on designing & engineering them,” he went on to say.

T&E estimated that boosting EV tariffs to at least 25%, up from 10% currently, would be required for “medium” electric cars such as sedans and SUVs from China to become more expensive than their EU counterparts, although compact SUVs and “larger cars” would remain marginally cheaper.

However, the policy group stated that Europe will need to become more self-sufficient in battery cell production for its domestic EV industry.

“The conundrum they see themselves in is that they can’t build affordable (and profitable) EVs without Chinese batteries because the Chinese are so far ahead of both the EU & US on the mineral mining, refining and manufacturing sides,” Le, of Sino Auto Insights, told Automotive News.

In reaction to legislative risks involved with transporting made-in-China EVs to Europe, Chinese firms such as Tesla and BYD have increased production operations on the continent. Tesla is looking to expand its assembly plant in Germany, and BYD intends to establish a factory in Hungary.

“The aim [of tariffs] should be to localise EV supply chains in Europe while accelerating the EV push, in order to bring the full economic and climate benefits of the transition,” according to the research.



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