After decades of playing the sleeping giant, China is now regarded as a forward thinking modern-digitally enabled nation. For better or for worse, China is now on a path to an inevitable and inexorable march toward progress. China’s electric vehicle industry is advancing at a faster pace than Europe which is hiding behind the facade zero emissions while China is actually serious about negating the effects of man-made climate change. In many ways, the Chinese EV industry is a bellwether of the future of the automotive industry.
Indeed, Chinese EV manufacturers are setting their sights on persuading the people of Europe that China-built electric cars can compete for the hearts and minds of Europeans. China’s EV industry is progressing at a faster rate than Europe’s. And that progress is manifesting in China-made EV brands entering the competitive European market. For the last three years, Xpeng has been busy setting up new service centers and stores for their electric G9 SUV and P7 sedan.
Xpeng currently operates in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the Netherlands. The Nordic countries will give Xpeng a launch point for greater expansion into wider Europe. Attaining a five-star Euro NCAP rating is part of the strategy Chinese EV makers are targeting in order to persuade European buyers that China-made cars are safe.
Offering a quality product, equipped with better more efficient technology at a cheaper price point is another advantage China-made electric cars will have over European EV manufacturers. Chinese EV makers are not just targeting retail sales, they are also focusing on fleet sales which often make up to 50 percent of new car sales in major markets.
Supply chain issues have caused production bottlenecks for European car manufacturers, therefore, giving Chinese EV makers an advantage. By 2030 analysts predict EV sales will make up to 40 percent of Europe’s new car sales, and Chinese brands will represent up to 20 percent of electric vehicles sold accounting for sales of up to 1 million vehicles annually.
Great Wall Motors is set to launch the ORA Funky Cat, a compact electric car with retro styling. Starting £32k and fully loaded with features and tech, the Funky Cat is scheduled to launch later this year in Sweden, Germany, UK, and Ireland. The Funky Cat is more premium than the VW ID3 it competes against yet it is £5,000 cheaper.
Many Chinese EV manufacturers are betting that if their products are better quality, safer, and offered at a cheaper price point, then what does it matter where the car was made. It is already happening and only a matter of time before China’s EV insurgency lands on European shores.