tirsdag 11. juni 2024

Why the EU might be about to make Chinese electric cars more expensive

With China accused of selling electric cars at artificially low prices, the European Union is widely expected to hit them with tariffs this week. The BYD Seagull is a tiny, cheap, neatly styled electric vehicle (EV). An urban runabout that won’t break any speed records, but nor will it break the bank.

In China, it has a starting price of 69,800 yuan ($9,600; £7,500). If it comes to Europe, it is expected to cost at least double that figure due to safety regulations. But that would still be, by electric car standards, very cheap. For European manufacturers that is a worrying prospect. They fear the little Seagull will become an invasive species, one of a number of Chinese-built models poised to colonise their own markets at the expense of indigenous vehicles.

China’s domestic auto industry has grown rapidly over the past two decades. Its development, along with that of the battery sector, was a major component of the “Made In China 2025” strategy, a 10-year industrial policy launched by the Communist Party in Beijing in 2015.