China’s EV Juggernaut Is a Warning for the West

China rocked the auto world twice this year. First, its electric vehicles stunned Western rivals at the Shanghai auto show with their quality, features and price. Then came reports that in the first quarter of 2023 it dethroned Japan as the world’s largest auto exporter.

Manufacturers of gasoline cars are product-oriented, whereas EV manufacturers, like tech companies, are user-oriented, Le said. Chinese EVs feature at least two, often three, display screens, one suitable for watching movies from the back seat, multiple lidars (laser-based sensors) for driver assistance, and even a microphone for karaoke (quickly copied by Tesla). Meanwhile, Chinese suppliers such as CATL have gone from laggard to leader.

The threat to Western auto market share posed by Chinese EVs is one for which Western policy makers have no obvious answer.

*Tesla was the first car company to change its reliance on neodymium iron boron, a rare earth magnet, whose exports China is now starting to restrict. This is also why we think the industrial policy, promoted by Jake Sullivan, the US national security adviser, is confused. It commingles legitimate concerns over national security and supply chain security with pork-barrel industrial interests. We are heading back to the old adage of what’s good for GM is good for America. Except that this is no longer true

Let’s face it the current administration doesn’t like Musk. Musk has been critical of the sitting president. So the establishment car maker have a cozier relationship with the administration.
But Musk is the best path for the president’s goal of two-thirds of all new vehicles sold by 2032 to be electric. Time for the politicians to wake up to that fact.


In a word batteries. The Chinese are losing control over the batteries. The Australians produce most of the Li. That company is turning west. The third world Li producers are nationalizing some of their production and looking towards a cartel.

Without batteries in the next few years China’s EV industry will wind down. Not entirely but substantially.

Adding a karaoke mic is not exactly the biggest innovation.


Did Shiny-land ever stray far from that meme? Shiny businesses have learned, they can sit on their hands and refuse to do the investing they should do in their normal course of business, and Uncle Sugar will throw money at them to “create jobs”, whether they actually “create jobs” or not.