The President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced this Wednesday (13) that an “anti-subsidy investigation into electric vehicles coming from China” will be launched. The speech took place during the annual State of the Union address at the European Parliament.
“We have to be clear about the risks we face. Look at the electric vehicle sector. It’s a crucial industry for the clean economy, with huge potential in Europe. But global markets are now flooded with cheaper Chinese electric cars and their prices are kept artificially low by huge state subsidies. This is distorting our market,” said von der Leyen.
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She compared the case of the automobile industry with competition between Europeans and Chinese in the solar energy market. Von der Leyen claimed that Beijing’s “unfair trade practices” meant that “pioneering companies” had to “file for bankruptcy.”
China has a leading position in the production of electric cars. According to the International Energy Agency, the Chinese produced around 60% of all registered electric cars in the world in 2022 and China has the largest fleet of electric cars in the world.
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Furthermore, the electric car sector is expanding globally. The share of electric cars in total car sales jumped from 5% in 2020 to 14% in 2022.
Editing: Vivian Virissimo