While Europe is keen to get people out of petrol cars, it does not want to make the logical step of making them affordable.
Chinese brands BYD, Nio and SAIC's MG are starting to arrive and are making a promising start. Of new EVs sold in Europe this year, eight per cent were made by Chinese brands, up from six per cent last
However European manufacturers are putting pressure on the EU about an "invasion" of cheap Chinese EVs in Europe. Of course, they could just bring down the price of EVs in Europe but it is probably cheaper just to give their local government a Chinese burn, so to speak.
To be fair, some manufacturers are planning to slash manufacturing costs and prices, but this has not happened yet.
The average price of an EV in China was less than 32,000 euros in the first half of 2022 compared with around 56,000 euros in Europe, according to researchers at Jato Dynamics.
But Chinese brands are likely to struggle to sell cars in Europe as cheaply as at home due to logistics, sales taxes, import duty and meeting European certification requirements all add costs.
MG – the best-selling Chinese-made brand in Europe - said its most significant challenge was getting cars from China to European distribution sites through saturated ports with long lead times.
Chinese state-owned carmaker GAC, the third-largest EV seller in China, opened a design bureau in Milan to get a feel for consumers' preferences before moving to sales.