The European Commission will find local manufacturers’ EVs among the cars in what it’s calling a race to the bottom.
(Bloomberg) — The European Commission’s investigation into cheap Chinese electric vehicles flowing into the bloc will find an ironic twist:
No automaker has taken advantage of China’s low cost base for manufacturing EVs more than one of Europe’s own.
Renault SA has for several years marketed the Dacia Spring as Europe’s most affordable electric car. The crossover built in China’s Hubei province starts at €20,800 ($22,300) in France, or €15,800 after a state subsidy.
By comparison, when China’s top-selling EV maker BYD Co. announced pre-sale prices for the EV range it was starting to market in Europe a year ago, the most affordable model the company offered was the €38,000 Atto 3 sport utility vehicle.
BYD hasn’t been alone in exercising some restraint rather than pricing for volume. Models from Chinese-owned brands including MG, Polestar and Nio sell for much more in key European markets than back home — a potential fly in the ointment for those who applauded Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s announcement of the probe Wednesday in parliament.
“Global markets are now flooded with cheaper Chinese electric cars, and their price is kept artificially low by huge state subsidies,” von der Leyen said Wednesday. “This is distorting our market, and as we do not accept this distortion from the inside in our market, we do not accept this from the outside.”
Here are some examples of the sizable differences between what automakers are charging for EVs imported into Europe from China, and how much they cost where they’re built:
In France: €28,990
In China: 116,800 yuan (€15,200)
In Germany: €31,310
In China: 119,800 yuan (€15,600)
In Germany: €44,990
In China: 189,800 yuan (€24,700)
In Germany: €48,990
In China: 299,800 yuan (€38,900)
In Germany: €67,300
In China: 405,000 yuan (€51,800)
In Germany: €69,900 without battery, €81,900 with battery
In China: 428,000 yuan (€55,600)
Read More: EU Escalates China Tensions With Probe to Ward Off Cheap EVs
–With assistance from Albertina Torsoli and Joshua Gallu.
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