The EU was urged to ramp up its economic support for the electric vehicle (EV) transition if it wants to fend off China’s advance into the market.
A study published today by European NGO Transport & Environment shows that EV sales in the continent slowed down over the last few months, going down from 13 per cent in the second half of last year to 11 per cent in the first six months of 2022.
On the other hand, electric car sales in China went up to almost 18 per cent, with manufacturers such as BYD and Great Wall Motor taking a foothold in the EU market.
“If Europe wants to maintain the competitiveness of its car industry, the EU must introduce a strong industrial policy of its own to match the Chinese and Americans’ muscular support for EVs,” said Transport and Environment’s senior director Julia Poliscanova.
“The continent’s climate and jobs are at stake.”
Chinese EV, the report added, currently account for 5 per cent of EU full-electric car sales but could reach between 9 and 18 per cent by 2025.
According to Transport & Environment analysts, this is mainly due to a lack of regulation at the European level.
“The absence of regulatory incentives is doing far more than the supply chain crunch to slow EV sales in Europe,” Poliscanova added.
“The EU must quickly lock in the 2035 phase-out of petrol and diesels and remove loopholes that weaken carmakers’ targets.”
To stimulate European EV production, the bloc should stick to the ban – which is currently being negotiated amid a wider pack of climate proposals – as well as oppose any exemption for synthetic fuels.
Other measures include removing the zero and low emission vehicle benchmark, which allows manufacturers to have more relaxed CO2 targets for the sale of electric vehicles, and using funds to accelerate EV production.
City A.M. has approached the European Commission and the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association for comment.