Chinese electric-car dominance puts US and European automakers on high alert

Although Chinese companies are among the most successful in the world in selling electric vehicles (EVs), this dominance has placed automakers in Western Europe and the United States on high alert.

Volkswagen of Germany and Fiat Chrysler of the United States, for example, are planning to introduce electric cars in China, where regulations are expected to shift from supporting fossil fuel-burning cars to promoting battery-powered ones.

The European Union last year mandated that new cars in its region receive new plugs, with exceptions for cars with lower emissions.

The Chinese government is providing incentives for EV purchases in China, which has been the world’s top market for plug-in vehicles, especially for high-end EVs. Though there are signs that cars will eventually see a decline in the Chinese market, first-time buyers are unlikely to defect from taxis and electric buses for now.

Volkswagen expects its financial contribution to be around $1 billion in 2019, and Fiat Chrysler put its cost estimates at around $750 million, Reuters reported.

While the Chinese government has been urging the shift toward greener cars, some other governmental entities have been promising to ease their new-car requirements. The European Commission said that it is aiming to cut new-car sales by 20 percent from 2021.

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