Commentary: China's EV boom presents win-win opportunities, not threat

(Xinhua) 15:29, September 09, 2023

BEIJING, Sept. 8 (Xinhua) -- As Chinese electric vehicle (EV) brands are under the spotlight at the birthplace of modern automobiles, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomed international automakers at the ongoing IAA Mobility 2023 in Munich and encouraged Germany's carmakers to embrace competition from Asian rivals and not be intimidated by the rise of China's EV makers.

Even with late-mover advantages, it was next to unthinkable that Chinese car companies could one day soon make Germans feel "intimidated" a few short years ago. At that time, brands like BYD, Nio and Xpeng were known only to analysts and industry insiders in the West.

Regarding the development of EVs as an important driver to meet the nation's carbon peaking and neutrality pledges, China has become a leader in automobile electrification.

The growing popularity of Chinese EVs in Europe is an indisputable fact. Chinese brands accounted for 8 percent of new EVs sold in Europe in 2023, up from 6 percent last year and 4 percent in 2021, according to auto consultancy Inovev.

That is only one of the factors behind the steadily growing momentum of China's auto exports. Data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed that in the first half of 2023, exports of new energy vehicles surged 160 percent year on year to 534,000 units.

Facing the trend of Chinese automotive brands entering the European market, expanding partnerships with these rising manufacturers is emerging as a popular strategy for those along the industrial and supply chains.

Auto supplier Bosch expressed its willingness to support car companies from China, the group's largest market in the world, as they seek localized production. Following this very trend, German car rental company SIXT announced a long-term partnership with China's EV leader BYD in October on the purchase of 100,000 EVs for its European fleet by 2028.

China and Europe have a long history of cooperation in the automobile industry. By setting up joint ventures or exporting vehicles, well-known European brands like Volkswagen, Citroen, Volvo and BMW have been favored by a vast number of Chinese consumers.

China is a big market, and so is Europe. The advantages in battery technology innovation and automobile software research and development will help boost Chinese EV makers' development in the European market. Such healthy competition will also prompt their European counterparts to quicken their pace.

Chinese EVs have already established themselves domestically. Seeking to make their mark in the international arena is merely a natural progression. For European car companies, instead of being stunned by the fine quality, advanced functions and competitive pricing of Chinese EVs, wouldn't it be better to embrace the new possibilities for win-win results?

(Web editor: Zhong Wenxing, Sheng Chuyi)


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