The European investigation into public subsidies for Chinese electric cars could lead to a significant increase in customs duties.
The European Union recently opened an investigation into public subsidies to chinese electric cars. This investigation, announced by the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, aims to assess the impact of these subsidies on the European market and to defend European industry in the face of prices deemed “artificially low”.
The European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Thierry Breton, recently suggested that this could lead to a significant increase in customs duties on Chinese electric cars.
According to Thierry Breton, who spoke in an interview on the French television channel LCI, it is common for such investigations to lead to increases in customs duties of around 10 to 20%. However, he also stressed that the outcome of this procedure was not yet certain and repeatedly stated: ” We will see. »
The European Union’s main concern is that Chinese subsidies have created a major competitive advantage for Chinese automakers, making their electric vehicles considerably cheaper than their European counterparts.
Currently, there are already 10% tariffs on electric vehicles from China, but in comparison, in the United States this figure rises to 27.5%. This cost difference creates a major distortion in the international electric car market.
During the investigation, European authorities will closely examine the direct and indirect subsidies received by Chinese manufacturers. These discussions will include all cars made in China, regardless of brand. Experts estimate that the cost advantage of Chinese vehicles compared to those manufactured in Europe is around 20%which has raised concerns about the long-term viability of the European automotive industry.
Beijing, for its part, vigorously defends its public subsidies and considers the European initiative as an act of protectionism. China says the subsidies are the result of significant investment in the sector and should not be questioned. According to the Chinese government, this investigation “will have a negative impact on economic and trade relations between China and the European Union. »
China has gained a significant head start in the electric vehicle sector, particularly when it comes to battery technology. Chinese manufacturers have taken advantage of their immense domestic market to develop their expertise and benefit from considerable economies of scale. This has allowed Chinese brands to establish themselves on the international scene, seriously competing with traditional manufacturers in Europe.
Read also :
• Electric car: China is furious with Europe after the opening of an investigation
• Europe wants to put obstacles in the way of Chinese electric cars
• According to Volkswagen, China is “two to three years ahead” in terms of electric cars
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