Europe’s lawmakers are looking to levy tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles (EVs), in a move that could help protect the domestic car industry there.

    News agency Reuters reports the European Commission is planning to introduce a system which could result in EVs made in China being hit with tariffs which would bring their prices closer in line with similar models built in Europe.

    The European Commission is currently investigating whether Chinese carmakers have been given a leg-up from the country’s government through subsidies.

    The probe is due to conclude by November.

    These alleged subsidies have been criticised as keeping prices of Chinese EVs artificially low and uncompetitive, undercutting European rivals.

    In Germany, for example, the most affordable MG 4 is €5005 (A$8331) less than an entry-level Volkswagen ID.3.

    While a probe is currently underway into the subsidy allegations, the European Commission has claimed local manufacturers could suffer irreparable damage if Chinese EV sales continue to rise at their current rate.  

    In response to the investigation and reports of tariffs against its EVs, China’s Chamber of Commerce has said it was disappointed, suggesting rising sales were reflective of demand for less expensive vehicles.

    It’s not the first time Chinese EVs have come under fire, with the US Government this week launching an official probe into whether vehicles from its rival superpower are gathering potentially sensitive data.

    The US Commerce Department alleges modern cars “collect large amounts of sensitive data on their drivers and passengers [and] regularly use their cameras and sensors to record detailed information on US infrastructure”.

    MORE: Europe’s influx of affordable Chinese electric cars causes political flashpoint
    MORE: GWM wants “fair and open trade” as Europe probes Chinese electric car sales
    MORE: Stellantis stops criticising Chinese carmakers long enough to buy into one

    Jordan Mulach

    Born and raised in Canberra, Jordan has worked as a full-time automotive journalist since 2021, being one of the most-published automotive news writers in Australia before joining CarExpert in 2024.

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