Budget-friendly Chinese EVs spur adoption rates in Asia & South America: Study
Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) are thriving in South Asian and South American markets, thanks to their affordability in addition to improved quality & technology, automotive market research firm JATO Dynamics outlined in its latest report. In the first half of this year, Chinese electric cars captured a considerable portion of the EV market across a number of South Asian nations, including Indonesia (29 per cent), the Philippines (33 per cent), Malaysia (28 per cent), and Thailand (79 per cent). In South America, Brazil and Chile also saw a remarkable presence of Chinese electric cars, accounting for nearly 27 per cent of their new EV sales each.
Notably, an impressive 91 per cent of new EVs sold in Russia from January to June this year were Chinese EVs. This unprecedented increase was mainly due to Western automakers suspending their Russian operations amid the Ukraine conflict, allowing Chinese automakers to set up a strong foothold in the Russian market. In Israel, nearly 61 per cent of new EVs were of Chinese origin, and the Mexican market followed suit with 30 per cent of its H1 2023 EV sales attributed to Chinese brands.
While affordability was not the sole contributing factor, it was the primary driving force behind the remarkable increase in sales of Chinese EVs in Asia and South America. In addition, a number of Chinese manufacturers have made considerable enhancements in the quality and technology of their EVs.
In the year of 2015, an EV’s average retail price in China was 37 per cent and 26 per cent higher than in Europe and the U.S., respectively. However, in merely 8 years, China successfully reverses this trend, with the average EV price now being less than 50 per cent as compared with the average price of a similar EV in Europe and the U.S.
In the first half (H1) of 2023, the average EV cost was $33,404 (equivalent to €31,400) in China, $71,669 (approx. €66,800) in Europe, and $72,912 (approx. €68,000) in the U.S., based on the currency conversion rates as of 6th of November this year.
Moreover, a Chinese EV with 200-300 hp is priced at approx. $33,150 (€30,500). For example, the BYD Seal's Elite trim with 204 hp retails for $26,197 (€24,100) in China. In contrast, the closest European competitor is the electric version of the Renault Twingo is available for $26,430 (€24,300), but it can produce only 81 hp.