The Electric Vehicle Market: Why China’s 80% Electrification Prediction Could Be the Beginning of the End for Traditional Automakers
As the world moves towards more sustainable forms of energy, the electrification of automobiles has become a major topic of discussion in the automotive industry. With electric vehicles (EVs) becoming more popular, it is interesting to see how automakers are adapting to this changing market. A recent chart highlights the current automakers producing EVs, showing that Volkswagen has lost market share to Tesla, selling three times fewer EVs. This is a concern as EVs are predicted to represent 80% of sales in China by 2025, according to Lee Auto CEO Lee Yang.
Europe and China together represent 60% of the global automotive market, making it essential for automakers to penetrate those markets. If China reaches its goal of 80% electrification by 2025, it would represent 80% of continued EV sales, leaving no room for vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. This shifts the focus to how traditional automakers, such as Volkswagen, BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Skoda, Porsche, and Toyota, will compete with EV leader Tesla and other Chinese EV manufacturers.
The internal combustion engine has fueled the economies of Germany and Japan, which are more dependent on the automotive industry than any other industry. Lee Yang’s prediction is of particular concern for these economies as they could potentially lose China’s huge automotive market. Germany and Japan’s automotive industries have only recently started work on developing EV-only platforms, and their current systems are not capable of rapidly switching to electric power.
Lee Yang compares the years 2023-2025 to “the last three years of World War II in history from 1943 to 1945.” This comparison indicates that he foresees a massive disruption that will likely end the economies of Germany and Japan. The automotive industry is set to undergo a significant transformation, and companies that can transition quickly to EV production are more likely to remain competitive.
In China, the EV market is rapidly expanding, with new energy vehicles accounting for 28% of all vehicles sold in 2022. Lee’s latest forecast predicts that, by December 2025, China’s monthly EV sales will exceed 1.3 million per month. Lee Auto is developing its new electric car, which will include a super flagship model, and five electric cars and five plug-in hybrids.
Volvo CEO Hakan Samuelsson believes that EVs will account for 80% of all sales in Europe by 2026, which indicates that the automotive industry is heading in a different direction. Many other European countries are already heading towards Norway’s figures of 88% EV-only sales. Furthermore, studies have shown that electric vehicles are expected to reach price parity with their gasoline counterparts in the near future, further driving consumers towards EVs.
In conclusion, it’s clear that electric vehicles will eventually replace gasoline cars. China’s 80% electrification prediction serves as a wake-up call for traditional automakers to prepare and transition quickly to electric power. Germany and Japan must adapt quickly to this new reality, as the automotive industry remains their primary economic driver. Even though Europe and China account for 60% of the global automotive market, if they both reach the 80% electrification figure, 80% of all cars sold globally by 2026 will be EVs. With Tesla and other Chinese competitors rapidly expanding, the automotive industry’s future looks electric.