Electric Vehicles are a big failure in China

Electric vehicles are proving to be a big failure in China. Many vehicles are catching fire without any serious reason. According to statistics from China’s Emergency Management Department, in the first quarter of 2023 an average of 8 EVS caught fire every day marking a 32% increase compared to previous periods. Additionally, another case highlighted an incident involving a Lee Auto car crashing into a large truck destroying the pillars responsible for supporting the vehicle’s roof side and doors this incident comes shortly after a Chinguen L7 accident in Guangdong.  It’s not just the accidents themselves that are alarming but also how easily the car’s pillars got destroyed. Passenger safety doesn’t rely solely on the number of airbags rather it hinges on a robust and sturdy body. Without pillars passengers have nowhere to seek Refuge. In another case, a small X-peng car catching fire while passing over a stone, the Blogger pointed out that while severe collisions may lead to fires it’s unacceptable for a mere encounter with a stone to ignite the underside batterypack. This incident the second of its kind within a month raises doubts about the safety of X-peng cars prompt in calls for the company to invest more resources in research development and safety testing. Some netizens said they weren’t surprised suggesting that it must be the lithium batteries. As the Chinese Communist Party CCP pushes for the development of what they call New energy Vehicles the country’s inventory has reached 20.4 million.

     However, reliance on lithium batteries leads to occasional charging accidents, industry experts attribute battery pack fires as the primary cause of charging accidents. Manufacturing defects or the inability to fully eliminate static electricity can result in short circuit’s arcs or thermal runaway fires with the increasing popularity of electric vehicles. Such safety incidents are expected to rise. New Energy electric vehicles not only frequently experience incidents like spontaneous combustion and explosions but also struggle to cope with slightly adverse weather conditions. During the 2024, Chinese New Year travel season the country faced the most severe rain snow and freezing weather in 15 years. Such conditions left many vehicles stranded on highways particularly, impacting electric cars even when stationary electric cars face the risk of power outage. Due to battery consumption, with a lack of charging stations along the way many drivers refrain from using heaters choosing to endure the cold. Consequently, EV drivers often find themselves waiting for towing assistance while some resortto pushing their vehicles several kilometers to find charging points.

     By 2023 China’s inventory of electric vehicles exceeded 17 million with a 117% year-on-year increase. However there aren’t enough public charging stations with an average of only one for every seven electric vehicles. This imbalance leads to drivers fighting for charging spots. There are more issues with electric vehicles. Many choose EVS to save on fuel costs but find themselves having to replace batteries instead. Some have pointed out that nearly all sectors within the electric vehicle industry operate at a loss with BYD being the only profitable entity due to government subsidies and policy support. Some even liken the EV industry to a bait and switch. Some manufacturers offer free battery replacements to get the sale knowing they will make the money back with other services. China previously announced a series of policies to boost electric vehicle sales including tax breaks cash subsidies and priority allocation of license plates and parking spaces. These policies fuelled a three-year consecutive surge in consumer demand to the point that there was a shortage. However, early last year the central government withdrew subsidies for electric vehicle purchases resulting in a sharp decline in EV sales growth from 74% to 21%. In contrast, analysts reported that electric vehicle sales in the United States and Europe increased by 47% and 37% respectively in 2023. The decrease in demand in the Chinese market has sparked fierce price wars.  According to data from the China passenger car market Joint Information Committee, promotional activities for electric vehicles in China escalated last year reaching historic highs of around 8%. Automotive analyst Ming Shun Lee from Bank of America highlighted that overcapacity in the automotive industry stems from numerous car brands perception of massive market demand and their confidence in sustaining strong growth. At a press conference held by the State Council information office of China Vice minister of Industry and Information Technology Xin Guobin pointed out that due to insufficient consumer demand most emerging electric vehicle Industries in China have yet to turn a profit. Weaknesses such as chip shortages still plague sales in these industries.

China’s overall economic situation the industry suffers from bad craftsmanship, poor technology and management and low profitability due to vicious competition. These issues have raised doubts about China’s domestically produced electric vehicles. Some analysts suggest that from 2024 onwards electric vehicle makers will start shutting down assembly plants not competing on technology will only survive through price cuts otherwise they may face closure. Currently, China’s electric vehicle market is in a state of chaos. Competition is fierce and many enterprises struggle to survive. It wouldn’t be surprising if half of EV businesses collapsed this year and there might be a large inventory of unsoldelectric vehicles next year.

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