Will your next car be a Chinese EV?

china ev industry watch net-zero renewable energy Apr 11, 2024

When our editor Julia went back to visit her family in China after four years in April 2023, one thing that struck her was how prevalent electric vehicles (EVs) were on the streets. From Jiangsu Province to Guangdong, almost every ride-hailing service she used was an EV, and many of her friends also owned EVs at home. From NIO to Xpeng, EV brands that she had never heard of just a few years ago were now running all over the streets.

Photo by Andrew Roberts on Unsplash

China has already become the largest EV market and EV producer in the world, and it’s still going strong:

  • China holds 58% of global EV sales, followed by the US, which accounts for around 12%.
  • In November 2023, 42% of car sales in China were either BEV or hybrids, compared to the EU at 25% and the US at 10%.
  • Forecasts predict that by 2030, 80-90% of cars sold in China will be EVs.
  • In the final quarter of 2023, BYD surpassed Tesla as the world’s biggest manufacturer of BEVs, selling 526,000 of them.

The booming Chinese EV industry stems from a few elements: a highly competitive domestic market, a vast local supply chain, generous government subsidies for both local firms and consumers, and strong battery production. All these factors give the Chinese EV industry an edge, and the momentum is likely to stay.

Photo by Michael Marais on Unsplash

Chinese EVs in Australia

You might have seen the ATTO 3 model running on the road. BYD now exports to over 70 countries, and Australia is one of them. In fact, BYD sits in second place behind Tesla in EV sales in Australia. With the ATTO 3 model selling well, BYD announced its new model – the BYD Dolphin – priced from $38,890, which will be the new cheapest EV in the Australian market.

Photo from https://bydautomotive.com.au/

While the world is making the transition from Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) vehicles to EVs, although currently lagging behind, Australia is catching up quickly. From 2022 to 2023, total sales for BEVs in Australia have increased by 161%. The National Electric Vehicle Strategy released in 2023 sets the goal to increase EV affordability, build charging infrastructure and massively reduce emissions. The EV market in Australia will continue to grow, and affordable Chinese EVs are likely to gain greater market presence. Except for the BYD Dolphin, another Chinese-owned carmaker, MG, announced its MG4 model, which is also priced under $40,000.

Photo from https://mgmotor.com.au/

With the theme of last year’s Nexus pitch competition – Smart Solutions for Net-Zero Carbon Cities – still fresh in memory, it’s great to see Australia moving forward with its Net-Zero goal, and the transition to EVs is surely a vital part of the process.


  • Western firms are quaking as China’s electric-car industry speeds up —The Economist
  • China is leading the challenge to incumbent carmakers — The Economist
  • An influx of Chinese cars is terrifying the West — The Economist
  • Why Chinese EVs are storming Australia — Financial Review
  • Electric-car price war: 2023 BYD Dolphin is Australia’s new cheapest electric car —Drive.com.au
  • National Electric Vehicle Strategy

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