Expert Voices

China's looser rules may usher in a new era for EV and AV companies

Illustration of a car with a price tag made of the Chinese flag.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Tesla recently began construction on its first gigafactory in China, suggesting that foreign automakers may be eyeing new opportunities in China following the country's decision to dismantle its requirement that foreign automakers create joint ventures with Chinese firms to make and sell vehicles there.

The big picture: The rule relaxation, which applied to EVs immediately and will cover all vehicles by 2020, could increase incentives for EV and AV companies to develop and sell vehicles there. But removing the joint venture requirement doesn't remove all risks.

Expert Voices

U.S. EV sales are up, but better incentives needed for SUVs, crossovers

Tesla vehicles stand outside of a Brooklyn showroom and service center on August 27, 2018 in New York City.
Teslas outside a Brooklyn showroom and service center. Photo: Spencer Platt via Getty Images

Although 2018's new vehicle sales in the U.S. were fairly flat with the previous year's, sales of electric vehicles (EVs) were up more than 80%, smashing previous records. That remarkable growth comes despite the fact that you can’t even find an EV at many dealerships across the country.

Yes, but: Automakers may claim they’ve embarked on an electric revolution, but most have been slow to actually deliver on some fronts. While crossovers, the modern marriage between a car and an SUV, now make up the largest segment of the U.S. car market — nearly 40%, according to the Department of Energy very few all-electric crossovers, SUVs or pickups exist.

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