Europe gave the world some of its top automakers, but it’s losing out to China in the race to define the industry’s future. China is the driving force in the business of electric vehicle batteries, which European leaders see as vital to the future of the auto industry that employs millions of people across the continent. It may be too late to catch up. Building electric cars in China makes sense for companies because that’s where most customers are, and it enables them to avoid heavy tariffs on imported vehicles. It also puts their manufacturing plants closer to the supply chain for batteries, which account for about 40% of the value of electric cars. About two-thirds of the world’s manufacturing capacity for lithium-ion batteries, those most commonly used in electric vehicles, is in China. Europe is estimated to have just 1% of the market. China has the advantage of being the world’s biggest market for electric vehicles, accounting for about half of global sales, and international carmakers are investing there in a big way. Some analysts say Europe’s last hope may be to take the same approach as it did with Airbus in the aviation industry. The plane maker was created by merging a clutch of existing firms and is now the only serious challenger to Boeing in the United States.
Question: Are you planning to buy an electric car?