US treasury chief warns on cheap Chinese EVs, battery exports

US treasury chief warns on cheap Chinese EVs, battery exports

US treasury chief warns on cheap Chinese EVs, battery exports 731 1024 Batteries International

April 3, 2024: Increases in cheap exports from China of products including batteries, EVs and solar power systems risks fuelling oversupply and damaging national economies, US treasury secretary US treasury Janet Yellen has warned.

Yellen said on March 27 substantial overinvestment and excess capacity has led Chinese firms to export abroad at depressed prices, which has maintained production and employment in China but forced industry in the rest of the world to contract.

“We have raised overcapacity in previous discussions with China and I plan to make it a key issue in discussions during my next trip there,” Yellen said.

“China’s overcapacity distorts global prices and production patterns and hurts American firms and workers, as well as firms and workers around the world.”

Batteries International reported in February of increasing pressure on the US domestic EV sector, including a $4.7 billion loss in Ford’s EV business, which outstripped overall net income of $4.3 billion in 2023 — and which one industry commentator said equated to nearly $65,000 for each EV it sold.

Industry commentator Robert Bryce — who said in November 2023 that Ford was facing up to the “truth bomb” that motorists don’t want to pay a premium for EVs — has said the firm’s losses are only part of a train wreck in the EV market.

Last September, the EU announced it was launching a formal probe into Chinese subsidies for EVs and batteries, amid fears Beijing could steer Europe’s green energy transition off course.

European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen announced the move in her state of the union speech, accusing Beijing of “flooding global markets with cheaper Chinese electric cars” and using huge state subsidies to keep prices artificially low.