Navigating the EV Market Shift in China

China's Unrivaled Position in the EV Landscape

The electric vehicle (EV) market in China continues to redefine the automotive industry's future. In 2023, China solidified its position as a global leader by accounting for nearly 60% of worldwide EV sales (measured in car registrations), a significant indicator of its growing dominance, according to data from the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Global EV Outlook 2024, a Paris-based autonomous intergovernmental organization. This trend is not just a fleeting phase but a clear signal of the shifting dynamics in the global car market, with projections showing that one in three cars in China will be electric by 2030.


Strategic Expansion Across Asia

China's influence is expanding beyond its borders, reaching into other fast-growing Asian markets. Leveraging its vast industrial resources, China is exporting its EV technology to nations like Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia, promoting the adoption of more affordable electric vehicles. This strategy is effectively setting the stage for China to become a central hub in the Asian EV revolution.

Chery International signed an agreement with Geleximco Group on April 4th to set up a joint venture aiming to build an automobile factory in Vietnam.


Competitive Edge Through Affordability

The secret to China's success lies in its commitment to producing smaller, cost-effective EVs. In 2023, over 60% of the electric cars sold in China were priced lower than their combustion engine counterparts, making them more accessible to a broader audience. This approach starkly contrasts with Western markets, where EVs tend to be larger, more luxurious, and consequently, more expensive—the IEA also emphasized that “In China, where the sales share of electric cars has been high for several years, the sales-weighted average price of electric cars (before purchase subsidy) is already lower than that of ICE cars.”

Challenges and Global Implications

Despite its achievements, the Chinese EV market faces challenges, including an intensifying price war and scrutiny from international trade bodies. However, these hurdles are unlikely to hinder China's trajectory as a frontrunner in the affordable EV segment, especially in Asia, where economic dynamics favor less expensive models.

Supportive government policies and incentives in Southeast Asian countries have facilitated this transition by reducing costs and improving market access for Chinese EVs. These measures have catalyzed significant increases in EV sales, demonstrating the effectiveness of strategic policy frameworks in accelerating EV adoption.

While China progresses, Western manufacturers are under pressure to recalibrate their strategies to enhance the affordability of EVs and expand the necessary infrastructure. This is crucial to compete in a market increasingly driven by cost-efficiency and sustainability.

How EAC - International Consulting Can Help

At EAC - International Consulting, we understand the complexities of the EV market and the pivotal role China plays in shaping its future. We offer strategic insights and tailored solutions to help your business to take part in this rapidly evolving landscape. Whether it's market entry strategies, partnership facilitations, or business resilience, EAC is here to guide you through every step of your Chinese EV journey.

If you want to know more, please reach out to Daniel Berger, Partner at EAC Shanghai.