European commission inspects chinese automakers in ongoing probe on electric vehicle subsidies.

European Commission investigators are set to examine Chinese automakers, including BYD, Geely, and SAIC, in the coming weeks as part of an ongoing investigation into potential punitive tariffs aimed at protecting European electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers. The probe, initiated in October and slated to last 13 months, seeks to determine whether Chinese-made EVs, benefiting from state subsidies, pose unfair competition to European counterparts. The inspections will not include non-Chinese brands produced in China, such as Tesla, Renault, and BMW. The investigation has heightened tensions between Beijing and the European Union, with China labeling it as protectionist. The verification visits, part of the initiation stage, are scheduled for this month and February, aiming to check responses given by the automakers to questionnaires. The European Commission aims to conclude the investigation by April 11. Chinese-made vehicles hold an 8% share of the European Union’s EV market, projected to reach 15% in 2025, selling at a 20% lower price compared to EU-made models. China’s increased efforts to expand its EV market overseas coincide with strained relations between China and the EU, impacted by factors like Beijing’s closer ties with Moscow and the EU’s efforts to reduce dependence on the Chinese economy for its green transition. Meanwhile, Chinese EV manufacturers are aggressively pursuing international expansion, with Europe being a priority market.