The increased presence of Chinese car manufacturers in the European market could drive down the prices of electric vehicles, according to market analysts.

New figures reveal that the Chinese new EV market increased by 110% in the last year, with one manufacturer, BYD, reporting a rise in EV sales of 132%. Continued growth is expected as Chinese manufacturers target sales in Europe.

In the latest edition of Cox Automotive’s quarterly digital automotive insight update, accountancy and financial insights experts Grant Thornton predict significant changes in the European car market. They say that Europe is expected to experience an influx of Chinese brands over the next two years, with cut-price product offerings in the premium and mass market, aiming to gain market share quickly.

Philip Nothard, insight and strategy director at Cox Automotive, said: “Chinese brands are pricing aggressively in their home market and clearly show more willingness to compete on price than the European and American incumbent OEMs such as BMW, Stellantis, Mercedes Benz, Ford, and Tesla.”

“Currently, retail prices for Chinese brands are not significantly lower than European and American OEMs. However, they are substantially better equipped with full infotainment and ADAS systems. In contrast, the European and American OEMs are falling short in providing this as standard equipment for their vehicles,” said Nothard.

Chinese manufacturers can produce battery electric vehicles (BEVs) around €10,000 cheaper than their European counterparts. It is not yet certain how the EU will respond. Grant Thornton has suggested that higher tariffs may be imposed on imports in a bid to protect domestic car manufacturers.