Chinese car makers 'putting downward pressure' on EV prices

Chinese car makers 'putting downward pressure' on EV prices

Hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles are being imported into Australia from China each year, overtaking previous demand for locally-made Ford and Holden cars.

China has become the third major source of vehicles sold in Australia, according to Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries chief executive Tony Weber.

"Year to date in 2024 over 80 per cent of all electric vehicles sold in Australia were made in China," Weber told 9News finance editor Chris Kohler.

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"It's good for Australian consumers because it's putting more choice into the market and it's putting downward pressure on prices as competition rises."

Weber said Australians were purchasing vehicles for a cheaper price than in other countries due to "an incredibly open market" with few tariffs and non-tariff barriers.

"Therefore the Australian consumer gets the benefit of the best quality product from around the world at the cheapest possible prices," Weber said.

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For example, a BYD Seal is for sale in Australia for about $50,000, but European car buyers may spend an equivalent of $90,000.

"We continue to see the increase in EVs, they're now eight per cent of the market last month," Weber said.

"We're also seeing the rise in hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, and around 24 per cent of all vehicles were a fuel-efficient product.

"We're seeing a change in the market where consumers are demanding low-emission vehicles, which is good for the environment."

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Drive director of content James Ward said more than half a dozen new brands had announced plans to come to Australia in the past month.

"It's been an unprecedented month in the Australian new car market," Ward told 9News Melbourne.

"We're already one of the most hotly-contested and uncomplicated markets in the world.

"But there have been seven new brands saying they will start selling cars in Australia, either later in 2024 or early in 2025."

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