Tesla, recharge: can China’s EV brands dethrone Elon Musk?

By Mark Andrews

SCMP Post Magazine. 12/04/2021

Start-ups Li Auto, Nio and Xpeng are going global with cheaper electric cars for all

Can China produce a car to take on Tesla? Last year saw two models account for 20 per cent of sales for plug-in electric cars, or what China calls new energy vehicles (NEV). The made-in-China Tesla Model 3 went on sale right at the beginning of 2020, and went on to claim 11 per cent over the year. The ultra-compact Wuling Hongguang Mini EV, released in the middle of the year, took second place, with retail prices starting as low as 28,800 yuan (YS$4,400) helping it eclipse Tesla sales in several calendar months.

In a tough market due to Covid-19, sales of NEVs increased but polarisation towards the premium and budget ends led to a squeeze of the middle ground dominated by traditional players such as SAIC, BAIC and BYD, who all saw double-digit decreases in sales. And so the question remains: can Chinese EV producers hit the sweet spot in terms of price and tech to succeed domestically and abroad?

You can read the full article here

Nio ET7 on display at the 2021 Shanghai Auto Show, China.
Mark Andrews has written about everything from Japanese houses to heli hikes on New Zealand glaciers, test drives of Chinese cars to bar and restaurant reviews. He currently specialises in travel articles and reviews of Chinese cars plus articles about the Chinese auto industry.

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