China "way ahead of" global electric vehicles competition: UK newspaper

LONDON, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) — China has become one of the most favorable places in the world to make competitively priced electric vehicles (EVs) amid increasing concerns over climate change, a major British newspaper reported Wednesday.

Despite “eye-popping” valuations of some EV companies on the stock markets, “the China EV theme still has many believers”, the London-based Financial Times said in an opinion article.

“These investors see China leveraging its huge scale advantages to make the first EVs that can compete on price with traditional cars. Then, they predict, such cars will find a ready international market in a world increasingly worried about climate change,” read the article.

According to Karine Hirn, a Hong Kong-based partner of asset manager East Capital, when mass-market scale is reached, the advantages will trickle back to China’s supply chain.

Chinese battery makers and auto parts suppliers will benefit a lot, “both from the point of view of the domestic market and from global market demand since they are way ahead of the competition due to scale advantages,” Hirn was quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, the development of China’s local EV supply chain is likely to be stimulated by U.S. carmaker Tesla’s entry into China last year, observers said.

Tesla rolled out the “Model 3” from its gigafactory near Shanghai, east China, in January. Some observers now think a 100 percent locally produced “Model 3” is a possibility, said the report.

Tesla began exporting its made-in-China “Model 3” to Europe on Tuesday, signaling the rapid development of foreign automakers in China amid the country’s opening up of the auto sector.

Boasting the world’s largest new energy vehicles (NEVs) inventory, China accounts for 55 percent of global NEV sales.

In September, overall sales of passenger vehicles in China gained 8 percent year-on-year to hit 2.09 million units, while NEVs sales surged 67.7 percent to 138,000 units.

To meet new demand generated by green consumption, the State Council, China’s cabinet, approved a plan in early October to boost the NEV industry, which underlined efforts to tackle vital technologies, consolidate the construction of infrastructure including charging facilities and strengthen international cooperation.

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