In September 2023, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced an investigation into alleged incentives provided by the Chinese government, which would lead to “artificially low” prices for Asian Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), putting European car manufacturers at a disadvantage.
In this context, as part of the interview series with industry leaders organized by Mobility Portal Group within the framework of the Global Mobility Call (GMC), Peggy Liu, Chairperson of JUCCCE, sheds light on the situation.
“I’d like to set the record straight: there are no subsidies for EV manufacturers from the central government of Beijing or China. Actually, they compete with themselves” comments the ecological leader, considered the “Green Goddess of China” by the press.
“China is selling cars at lower prices domestically but at a much higher price in Europe, in order to make a profit,” explains Liu in a conversation with Mobility Portal Europe.
During her presentation, the Chairperson of JUCCCE argues that the government support in Asia is not directed towards manufacturers and, based on her experience, the benefits accrue to the end consumer.
“China is not the enemy; it is a crucial partner in infrastructures upon which EU businesses can easily build their own brands, with a very extensive supply chain,” acknowledges Liu.
It is worth mentioning that foreign firms are dominating the electromobility market in the European Union.
Specifically, the American Tesla, the Japanese Honda, and the British Jaguar Land Rover exhibited a 50% growth in registrations in the regional market compared to their performance in 2022.
Another notable brand is Volvo, boasting a 33% increase. Although the company was founded in Sweden, it was acquired by Chinese investors Zhejiang Geely Holding Group in a transaction in 2010.
What measures should the European sector replicate from China?
The reason why the environmental leader attended the GMC was to “discuss how China has developed sustainable urban mobility solutions.”
The truth is that, currently, the Asian giant leads in investments for green energy production and the consumption of eco-friendly products.
“It is really important to transition from fossil fuels (which create emissions) to a world where we can still travel wherever we want but with no emissions that harm the environment,” says the Green Goddess of China.
“Electricity is just the first step towards achieving this goal,” she adds.
But in what way has the Asian country facilitated the e-mobility transition?
“China has created an open supply chain system, allowing European cities or local companies to easily develop a car-as-a-service model. They can design their own vehicles using Chinese parts and subsequently sell or rent them to local residents in Europe,” comments the environmental leader.
“This is a really good partnership that we should all look forward to”, she adds.
Finally, Peggy Liu emphasizes that “imagination is key” to accelerate the transition to electromobility.
“To join the transition, we must believe that it is happening and use our imagination to envision what daily life will look like when we are all using EVs, high-speed rail, metros in large cities, and hydrogen to power our cars and drones,” explains Liu.
China is betting on hydrogen as a fuel
In order to achieve zero emissions by 2060, Peggy Liu explains that the country is banking on the development of hydrogen as a fuel.
To accomplish this, a national green plan involving six ministries has been initiated to determine how to transition heavy industry to use this material.
It’s worth noting that the Asian giant aims to reach 40% renewable energy utilization by 2030.
In this way, they intend to transform from being the largest greenhouse gas emitter in 2006 to reaching a projected turning point by 2025 and achieving zero emissions by 2060.
Who is Peggy Liu?
Peggy is a young global leader of the World Economic Forum, honoured with various awards, including the “Nobel” of climate change, the “Hillary Step”.
Formerly a venture capitalist, she co-founded one of the first e-commerce companies in Silicon Valley.
Currently, she travels worldwide to advise businesses and governments on catalysing the economy at a social scale, scaling sustainable innovation, and collaborating with China.
She lectures on the lessons learned while confronting the most challenging environmental issues, such as pollution, urbanisation, epidemics, drought, obesity, and diabetes.
Peggy Liu‘s “Tornado Leadership” methodology is grounded in her work in political, economic, technical, and spiritual realms to lead these changes nationwide.
For instance, she organized the MIT Forum on the future of energy in the Asian giant, from which JUCCCE was formed.
This forum marked the first public dialogue between US and Chinese government officials on clean energy in the East Asian country.
Subsequently, China swiftly became the global leader in renewable energy investments.
Liu also introduced Smart Grid in the country and catalysed the electricity distribution revolution to enable renewable energy and energy efficiency at scale.
Now, the Asian giant leads the world in implementing innovations in smart grids.
Lastly, it is worth mentioning that she created the “China Dream” initiative in 2010 to reinvent prosperity for sustainable consumerism.