Carmakers prep low-cost EVs for Europe to battle Chinese onslaught

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If the European electric automotive space is a battlefield, the Chinese have invaded and conquering new bastions with passing time. Global rivals are facing the heat but are hardly ready to give up. To push back, several car companies are readying more affordable options in order to either retain or capture a sizeable chunk of the emerging segment.

File photo used for representational purpose. (REUTERS)

Chinese EV companies like BYD, Nio, Xpeng have entered several European markets in recent times and brought in smaller and cheaper options which are being lapped up by many who are looking to experiment with battery-powered mobility options. And the European and American brands aren’t too pleased.

Earlier this year, the European Union (EU) decided to probe subsidies offered on EVs which was seen as a potential action against Chinese imports. The probe pertains to state subsidies on EVs – in the form of grants, loans, tax cuts, rebates etc – that may be benefiting Chinese players in Europe. China fired back by stating that it had been given ‘less time’ for consultations and that it is ‘deeply dissatisfied.’

But geopolitical tensions aside, global car brands may have realised that the proverbial fire has to be fought with fire. Volkswagen Group has already confirmed plans of an ID.2 which could cost less than 25,000 Euros (approximately 22.50 lakh). An ID.1 at less than 20,000 Euros is also possible. Tesla also has eyes on – and plans for – an EV which is cheaper than its Model 3. Indications are that the US giant is targeting a model that would be priced at around 25,000 Euros as well. Others like Renault are looking at bringing down component costs for their EV offerings which would allow them to usher in a series of price cuts.

At present, the list of some of the most-affordable electric cars by non-Chinese companies include MG ZS EV (around 29,000 Euros), Kia E-Soul (around 28,500 Euros) and Nissan Leaf (around 30,000 Euros). This does not include two-door models that are even cheaper like Citroen AMI.

First Published Date: 24 Nov 2023, 14:34 PM IST

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