Chinese automakers appear determined to enter the European consumer and corporate EV market. A company from the Middle Kingdom is ready to present high-tech models with the highest level of security – at relatively low prices.
Corresponding ReutersIn recent months, several Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers have received a five-star car safety rating from the renowned non-profit organization European New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) – this usually requires equipping their vehicles with active and passive systems that are much more efficient than required by law.
All Chinese EV makers want top Euro NCAP results to become more competitive in the European market, Xpeng said. The company itself has established stores and service centers in Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden over the past three years and will officially launch the P7 electric sedan and G9 SUV in those countries early next year.
According to European experts, Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers have already realized that electric vehicle safety plays a huge role in European purchasing decisions, and getting the Euro NCAP rating allows you to get rid of stereotypes about Chinese cars – back in 2006-2007, their crash tests gave the impression that they are not particularly safe.
High valuations will also support sales of Chinese vehicles to corporate fleets, which account for about half of all sales in the European Union. Now many of the fleets are making a massive transition to electric vehicles, so purchases are expected in bulk. Already, the waiting time for deliveries of some models has increased to more than 12 months, which has allowed European manufacturers to raise prices.
This creates a window of opportunity for Chinese companies. For example, Sixt, a German electric vehicle rental company, announced in October its intention to purchase around 100,000 electric vehicles from BYD. This and other Chinese manufacturers have already received a five-star Euro NCAP rating for some of their models.
According to French Inovev analysts, about 155,000 Chinese cars were sold in Europe in the first 9 months – 1.4% of the market, almost twice as much as in 2021 (about 80,000). At the same time, almost half of the models sold were electric vehicles – the share in the electric mobility market is already 5.8%. China is expected to only sell electric vehicles in Europe in the coming years. According to the company’s forecasts, by 2030, electric vehicles will account for about 40% of all electric vehicle sales in Europe, and Chinese brands – 12.5-20% of the “electric” market, or 725 thousand – 1.16 million copies. With China offering more affordable options, the numbers could be even higher.
Achieving a five-star Euro NCAP rating is quite expensive as every car needs to be fitted with additional systems – from extra airbags to driver assistance systems to driver monitoring systems. However, Chinese companies do not stop at additional costs. According to experts, the quality of the cars from the Middle Kingdom is now better than that of many competitors.
New models are introduced for Europe by BYD, Great Wall Motor (GWM) and others. At the same time, GWM’s ORA Funky Cat costs £32,000 (about US$36,330) in the UK – almost £5,000 cheaper than the VW ID.3 model, although the Chinese version is not inferior in many respects and even matches it in some respects exceeds … functional.
According to experts, many automakers are inferior in price to Chinese manufacturers. “The only place in the world where you can buy affordable electric cars today is China,” You say. At the same time, the country actively uses this advantage.