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China Dominates EV Market As Biden Pushes To Phase Out Combustion Engine

Lixiang One, Credit: Windmemories, via Wikimedia Commons

By John Hugh DeMastri for the Daily Caller Foundation

Chinese electric vehicle (EV) makers continue to grow faster than their European and U.S. competitors in 2023, even as the Biden administration pushes rules that could eventually end the sale of gas-powered vehicles, according to Semafor.

Chinese electric vehicle titan BYD has introduced its vehicles in Germany this year, while Chinese automakers outperformed foreign competitors in their domestic market, Semafor reported. While China continues to dominate both the supply chain for and sales of EVs, President Joe Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced its strictest ever proposed set of vehicle emissions rules on April 12, which the agency forecasts would lead to over two-thirds of all vehicles sold after 2032 being all-electric.

The new regulations would severely limit the sale of gas-powered vehicles, which critics allege is the administration’s first step toward a California-like ban on new gas-powered passenger cars, something that EPA Director Michael Regan denied in a statement. Myron Ebell, director of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Center for Energy and Environment, told the Daily Caller News Foundation at the time that the Biden administration is “trying to bend every federal rule they can find to force people into buying EVs.”

Similarly, the Biden EPA previously approved a set of California regulations that experts say would effectively result in a nationwide ban on new diesel-powered truck sales by 2035, since automakers would be unlikely to sell different models in both California and nationwide markets. The California regulations would essentially act as a “backdoor … for California that sets standards for the U.S.,” Dan Kish, senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research, told the DCNF at the time.

The Chinese government “realized… that they would never overtake the U.S., Germany and Japanese legacy automakers on internal combustion engine innovation,” Tu Le, managing director of transportation consulting firm Sino Auto Insights, told MIT Technology Review in February. Thanks to a combination of significant subsidies — which were also available to foreign automakers like Elon Musk’s Tesla — and access to the critical mineral resources necessary to construct batteries, China was able to encourage the rapid development of its EV market, MIT Technology Review reported.

China produced roughly 60% of rare earth minerals worldwide, and 60% of the world’s graphite supply, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). In terms of refining, China processes 60% of all cobalt and lithium worldwide, in addition to 30% of global nickel and copper processing.

Domestically, Chinese firms gained significant ground against their foreign competitors in 2022, as Chinese consumers purchased more than 4 million all-electric vehicles in 2022, with BYD unseating German automaker Volkswagen as the nation’s top seller of EVs, according to The Wall Street Journal.

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