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How Chinese Automakers Are Trying To Dominate The Electric Car Market

Summary

  • China’s rapid industrialization led to groundbreaking electric cars that are now setting the standard for innovation and affordability globally.
  • Chinese brands like BYD excel in mass production of EVs, posing a threat to established brands with their low-cost, high-quality offerings.
  • Chinese manufacturers, once seen as imitators, are now leading the way in design trends and attracting top talent in the automotive industry.



A decade ago, consumers scoffed at the idea of considering a Chinese car, as the industry was plagued with poor quality, outdated engine options, and copycat designs. However, things took a serious turn as the country’s economy strengthened and electromobility became a more popular segment. Now the world looks to China when it comes to innovative electric cars with styling and digital displays. Despite some of its latest cars being some of the most revolutionary we’ve ever seen, they still manage to maintain great affordability.

Chinese industrialization has been one of the most competitive in the world, which is why a lot of manufacturers have started partnering with the nation’s biggest automobile and energy companies. China has also been heavily investing in renowned manufacturers, resulting in a breath of fresh air and rejuvenation of products and strategies. Currently, China is the country to look out for when it comes to electromobility and if it continues on this path, we’ll likely see it become the industry leader.


In order to give you the most up-to-date and accurate information possible, the data used to compile this article was sourced from various manufacturer websites and other authoritative sources, including MotorTrend, Autocar, and Bloomberg.

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Doubling Down On Technological Features

Market trends show us that consumers appreciate dazzling digital displays and innovative technological features. The latest contributor to this is Xiaomi, which the masses usually associate with smartphones and other small electronics. The all-new XU7 is a dazzling new five-door liftback sedan with a $42,500 starting price. This new car was so popular that the brand confirmed it sold all 88,898 copies in just 24 hours.


Xiaomi XU7 Performance Specifications

400-volt V6 Powertrain 800-volt V6s Powertrain
Motor Layout Single-motor Dual-motor
Transmission Single-speed automatic Single-speed automatic
Horsepower 295 HP 664 HP
Torque 295 LB-FT 664 LB-FT
Driveline RWD AWD
0-60 mph 5.3 seconds 2.8 seconds
Top Speed 130 MPH 165 MPH

(Data sourced from Xiaomi)


This is an astonishing result considering it’s currently only available in China. The XU7’s success is based on how much value it provides, as most of its innovative features are standard. Xiaomi has an edge in this market because it has a more extensive history of producing electronics. All automotive-related components are sourced via a deal it made with BAIC, which has an extensive history in automotive manufacturing and is also a trailblazer in the EV scene.

Focusing On Mass Production Units

BYD Yangwang U7
BYD Yangwang

A lot of European and American brands produce electric cars in limited numbers, except Tesla. Billions of dollars worth of investments in production facilities and supply chains aim to change this, but for the time being, electric cars remain a niche product, globally. This is not the case in China, where there is no shortage of EVs. BYD is one brand that excels at mass-producing electric cars to the point where it has become one of the highest-selling brands, despite only operating in select regions.


  • BYD, founded in 1995, is a Chinese multinational company specializing in electric vehicles and rechargeable batteries.
  • It stands for “Build Your Dreams” and has become one of the world’s largest manufacturers of EVs and batteries.
  • BYD produces a wide range of vehicles, including electric cars, buses, trucks, and forklifts, catering to both consumer and commercial markets.
  • The company is known for its innovative technologies, such as its Blade Battery, which offers improved safety and energy density compared to traditional lithium-ion batteries.
  • BYD has expanded its global presence, with operations in over 50 countries and regions, including the United States, Europe, and Asia.
  • It is committed to sustainability and has initiatives focused on reducing carbon emissions and promoting clean transportation solutions.


BYD has shown strong intent to expand its operations outside of China, which would come as a major threat to established brands who are only just getting started with their electrified portfolio. Chinese brands have also mastered the art of keeping their cars relatively cheap and accessible, thanks to streamlined production systems, efficient supply chains, and shared development costs.

Aggressive Acquisitions And Mergers

Grey 2024 Lotus Eletre Parked
Lotus

Almost every major automotive acquisition or merger in the last decade has involved a Chinese company. Brands like Lotus and Volvo, who were previously financially struggling, are now thriving thanks to aggressive investments from Chinese companies. American companies such as Ford and GM are also engaging in dedicated long-term partnerships with the Chinese for the sake of advancing electromobility technologies at reduced costs.


China has a longstanding reputation for industrialized mass production of electronics and energy storage solutions. Its importance to the industry was highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, which led to a catastrophic supply chain crisis. Semiconductors are a vital component of all cars, especially EVs. Brands recognize this, among other strengths, which is why there is more potential for them to make deals with Chinese conglomerates.

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Affordability Is King

Blue GWM Ora 03 with a white roof
GWM


Electric cars remain a niche and expensive product, even for base-level trims that don’t have a lot of standard features or revolutionary and powerful electric powertrains. The cheapest electric car in the U.S. is currently the Nissan Leaf, at $29,280. This is much more than what you’d pay for an entry-level Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic, which offer similar performance and efficiency. China has popularized the low-speed EV, which is essentially a golf cart with more body panes and comfort features.

These are popular choices for urban dwellers in very condensed cities who don’t need to access motorways. BYD, GWM, Wuling, and other noteworthy companies are starting to release compact and accessible EVs in the $20,000 region. If they were to ever introduce these products to the U.S. at these prices, local manufacturers would have a tough time competing. These cars would be hit with considerable taxes, which is why none of these manufacturers have attempted to enter the region, but they are making big moves across other international markets.


Rivaling The Supercar World

Yellow YangWang U9 
BYD 

China isn’t well-known for supercars, but you should by no means underestimate them. The Nio EP9 shocked the world when it conquered the Nürburgring Nordschleife in a mere 6 minutes and 45.9 seconds. The BYD Yang Wang U9 is also earning a strong reputation for itself, with its luxurious interior, intuitive suspension, and neck-breaking quad-electric motor system. The supercar generates a combined 1,300 horsepower, resulting in a claimed 0-62 MPH time of 2.36 seconds.


BYD YangWang U9 Performance Specs

Electric Motor Quad-Permanent-Magnet Motors
Horsepower 1,287 HP
Torque 1,239 LB-FT
Battery Capacity 80 kWh
Range (CLTC) 289 miles
0-62 mph 2.36 seconds
Top Speed 192.1 MPH
Quarter-mile Time 9.78 seconds

(Data sourced from BYD)

There are very few European or American manufacturers that are currently developing electric supercars. Lexus is currently working on its EV LFA successor, but this is only due in 2026 and its quoted performance figures pale in comparison to the Chinese models. Rimac remains at the top of the throne, but it only focuses on high-performance models, whereas BYD, Geely, Nio, and others offer a multitude of segments.


Breathtaking Exterior Designs

Geely Galaxy E8
Geely
​​​

Experts once criticized Chinese brands for copying designs from established carmakers, but the roles in this fight appear to have reversed in the current automotive climate. Manufacturers have now openly stated that they pen their cars to favor the tastes and styles of the Chinese market, because this is where they experience some of their biggest market growth. China has become such a staple for design, that it has even attracted the likes of Volvo’s Peter Horbury, Mercedes-Benz’s Peter Arcadipane, and Rolls-Royce’s Giles Taylor, among other noteworthy names.


Some Chinese cars admittedly have some questionable designs, but you can say the same for a lot of European, American, and Japanese cars. Regardless of your tastes, there’s no denying that the Chinese are pushing design boundaries and setting industry trends and standards for both exterior and interior design.



This article was originally published by a www.topspeed.com . Read the Original article here. .

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