The Chinese automotive industry has made strides with electrification over the past few years. It appears that these efforts have bore fruit, as the People’s Republic topped global charts in terms of EV exports last year.
According to numbers from the General Administration of Customs of China reported by Nikkei Asia, China exported 499,573 electric vehicle units in 2021, 2.6 times more than its total exports the year prior.
China accounted for more than half of the world’s EV exports, even with Germany doubling its totals to around 230,000 units. Japan also increased by 24% to 27,400 units, while US exports fell by 30% to about 110,000.
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China is the world’s largest producer of smartphones, and it is now emerging as the “world’s factory for EVs.” The country’s exports to Europe rose fivefold to 230,000 units last year, which account for half of China’s exports. About 87,000 were reportedly delivered to Belgium and 50,000 to the UK. Of the nearly half-million total, 100,000 were said to have come from Tesla’s Shanghai plant.
Nikkei attributes China’s EV export growth to its focus on the sector. Chinese carmakers are now also manufacturing automotive batteries locally and raw materials for cathodes are now procured domestically. “In China, production costs are about 50% less than in other parts of the world due to more efficient procurement,” a Chinese EV parts manufacturer official told Nikkei.
China is continuing its aggressive push for EVs around the region. SAIC Motor, China’s largest automaker, has already gained a 50% share of the Thai EV market.