EU Initiates Investigation into China’s EV Subsidies and Low-price Competition.

European Union (EU) has taken a significant step in response to the rapid expansion of China's electric vehicle (EV) market. This blog post explores the EU's decision to launch an investigation into China's subsidies for electric vehicles and the concerns surrounding the competitive advantage gained through low pricing strategies. Discover how this move could potentially reshape the global EV industry and competition dynamics between China and Europe.
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The global electric vehicle (EV) market is witnessing a significant expansion, with China emerging as a major player. However, this growth has raised concerns in the European Union (EU) as they suspect China of artificially lowering EV prices through subsidies. In response to these concerns, the EU has decided to launch an investigation into China’s subsidies for electric vehicles. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, announced this investigation during her annual speech at the European Parliament, emphasizing the EU’s commitment to maintaining fair competition in the market.

The EU’s Concerns:

The EU’s concerns about China’s expanding presence in the global EV market stem from the fact that many Chinese EV manufacturers, especially startups, are struggling to turn a profit. Still, they manage to survive and expand due to generous government Ev subsidies for both manufacturers and consumers. With ambitions to enter the European market, companies like BYD and NIO are preparing to launch affordable electric vehicles, posing a potential threat to established European automakers like Volkswagen and Stellantis.

BYD, for instance, recently overtook Volkswagen as the best-selling car brand in China and is now selling its vehicles in 15 European countries. The Atto 3 crossover SUV became the best-selling electric car in Switzerland in July, and the Seal electric sedan is set to launch in Germany at a starting price of around 45,000 euros, directly challenging models like the Tesla Model 3 and Volkswagen ID.3.

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The EU’s Response:

To counter the substantial subsidies offered by China and the United States in the electric vehicle industry, the EU is taking a two-pronged approach. Firstly, they are expediting the review of their national aid policies, and secondly, they are urging Beijing to open up its market to achieve trade balance. The investigation into China’s electric vehicle subsidy policy can be seen as a victory for the French government, which has long warned that the influx of Chinese vehicles would depress prices for European manufacturers and cause lasting harm.

Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of Finance, stressed the need for a more proactive, innovative, and protective European strategy against competition from China and the United States. France has already adjusted its subsidy policies to favor European production and prevent French taxpayers’ money from subsidizing factories in Asia.

Challenges on the Horizon:

Aside from the investigation into Chinese subsidies, the EU faces another looming issue. Due to Brexit, discussions are ongoing regarding whether to impose tariffs on vehicles exported from the EU to the UK starting in 2024. This could potentially impact the competitiveness of European brands in the UK market and further bolster the advantage of Chinese electric vehicles.

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While the EU’s decision to investigate China’s electric vehicle subsidies is a significant step, the ultimate impact will depend on the actions they take in response. Internally, there is ongoing debate about the specifics of these actions. As the global electric vehicle market continues its evolution, it remains uncertain how this investigation and potential countermeasures by the EU will influence the future of the industry and competition between Chinese and European electric vehicle manufacturers.

Source article in chinese

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