Chinese made EVs will reach 25pc EU market share in 2024 – T&E

Ex-Tesla Chinese brands could reach 11pc of EU EVs this year

Chinese made EVs will reach 25pc EU market share in 2024 – T&E
The European Commission is currently conducting an anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese EVs

A quarter (25pc) of Electric vehicles sold in Europe in 2024 will be made in China, up from 19.5pc in 2023, according to analysis by EU non-profit Transport and Environment (T&E).

Chinese imports into Europe to date have largely been EU or US brands that are manufactured in China — such as Tesla, Dacia and BMW vehicles. These vehicles accounted for around 60pc of Chinese imports in 2023.

Tesla imported 28pc of all China made EVs, with Renault’s Dacia importing 20pc.

But T&E projects that Chinese brands could reach 11pc of the European EV market in 2024 and 20pc in 2027, accounting for more than 80pc of Chinese imports by the latter date.

The projection assumes a linear growth in Chinese OEM market share based on the last few years, where the share has gone from 0.4pc of the EV market in 2019 to 7.9pc in 2023.

BYD alone is targeting 5pc of the European electric car market by 2025.

“The sales of battery electric cars in Europe have been growing quickly,” says the report. “But given China’s edge in battery technology and some foot dragging by European legacy carmakers, more and more of those electric cars are imported from China.”

The European Commission launched an anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese EVs last year, with a preliminary ruling expected soon.

The Commission could propose raising tariffs on imported EVs from their current level of 10pc.

“The EU should raise the EV import tariff to at least 25pc once the investigation concludes distortive subsidies have been found (making this WTO-compatible),” says T&E in its report. 

Import tariffs on battery cells should also be increased progressively by 2027, by which time EU production is expected to meet domestic regional demand.

These higher tariffs can be done in a way that does not cause a trade war, T&E says.

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The aim should not be to shield legacy carmakers from meaningful competition or lead to a shrinking offer of affordable BEVs for European consumers, but to encourage Chinese EV makers to enter the region, whilst creating a more level playing field to enable localised EV supply chains to grow in Europe.

“Tariffs will not stop Chinese companies from building factories in Europe as BYD and CATL are already doing,” the report predicts. 

Higher tariffs should be accompanied by a regulatory push for faster BEV mass market manufacture. This includes locking-in a phase out of ICE van and car sales by 2035, agreeing ambitious corporate fleet electrification targets and rolling out a European strategy for compact, made-in-Europe BEV.

“Going faster, not slowing down, is the only way to fend off foreign imports into Europe,” says the report. 

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