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US tariffs on Chinese EVs hurt green transition: XPeng boss

By AFP

May 17, 2024 09:11 PM


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The president of Chinese electric vehicle maker XPeng on Friday criticised the fresh tariffs on Chinese cars imposed by Washington as "unfavourable" for the United States' energy transition.

US President Joe Biden announced earlier this week the quadrupling of customs duties on Chinese electric cars to 100 percent, which China slammed as politicising an economic issue and a breach of World Trade Organisation rules.

XPeng president and vice-chairman Brian Gu said at an event in Hong Kong on Friday that the levies will lead to "higher costs and slower product iteration", hampering the US's green energy ambitions.

"For an auto market as important and large as the US, they would want to have carbon-neutral, green energy transition," Gu told reporters. "The tariffs are unfavourable to its own climate and energy transition."

"I hope one day it can become more open, so that products all over the world can compete there."

XPeng - which sold more than 140,000 cars last year - is not directly impacted by the tariffs as it does not sell in the US, he added.

Gu's comments came a day after XPeng announced its launch in France and Germany, with plans to expand to the United Kingdom, Spain and Italy before the end of 2024.

Asked if he was concerned that the European Union will mirror American tariffs, Gu told AFP that XPeng would press ahead with its global strategy and not be limited as a China-only EV manufacturer.

Europe's anti-subsidy investigation into Chinese EVs had "gone on for some time" but there is "nothing conclusive", he said.

Founded in 2014, the Guangzhou-headquartered EV manufacturer said on Thursday it will market its premium SUV models in France, with prices starting at $65,200.

The company's senior product planning expert Alan Ma, said XPeng plans to introduce smaller SUVs to the French market in future.

"In France, we can see that smaller cars are more popular... We will fully consider the needs of the French market and bring in smaller models to suit French buyers," Ma told AFP.


AFP


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