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China’s secret plot to make Australia dependent on it for electric cars as it is for everything else

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China already dominates electric car sales in Australia with a whopping 83 percent market share, even before petrol cars are phased out.

An electric car became Australia’s fourth most popular car last month after the Greens agreed to support Labour’s stated climate change policy of 43 percent less CO2 emissions by 2030.

China, Australia’s largest trading partner, is strategically aiming for a thaw in trade relations, just as sales of electric cars are increasing.

To that end, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met his Australian counterpart Penny Wong in New York last week on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

China already dominates electric car sales in Australia with a whopping 83 percent market share, even before petrol cars are phased out (pictured is a Tesla Model 3 production line in Shanghai)

When it comes to EVs, China-built cars are by far the best-selling cars, with Teslas made in Shanghai and an MG SUV leading the way, along with Volvos and a BMW with a six-figure price tag.

Best Selling Chinese-Made Electric Cars

TESLA MODEL 3: 2,380 in August and 7,037 in 2022 so far

TESLA MODEL Y: 1,017 sold in August and 1,017 in 2022 so far

MG ZS EV: None in August and 138 in 2022 so far

POLESTAR 2: 38 in August and 694 in 2022 so far

VOLVO C40: Two in August and two in 2022 so far

VOLVO XC40: Three in August and 525 in 2022 so far

BMW IX3: 58 in August and 349 in 2022 so far

Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries

All-electric vehicles made in China last month accounted for a whopping 82.6 percent of the Australian EV market, data from the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries shows.

Australia is even more dependent on China for electric vehicles than for anything else.

Nearly a third of Australia’s imports come from China, with telecommunications equipment, computers, furniture and strollers topping the list as supply chain restrictions bite.

However, Chinese cars only have a small 10 percent share in Australia, with more than 95 percent of new vehicles sold still having a petrol or diesel engine – the top sellers come from Thailand, Japan and South Korea.

But China cleverly dominates the EV market.

ANZ economists Madeline Dunk, Kyle Uerata and David Plank have released a report showing EVs are a key growth sector as the Australian government pledges to have charging stations at average intervals of 150km.

“China’s auto industry has the potential for strong growth, especially given the benefits of the electronic vehicle battery supply chain,” the ANZ report said.

The Tesla Model 3, made in Shanghai, was Australia’s fourth most popular car last month, with 2,380 orders taken, making it even more popular than the Toyota LandCruiser all-wheel drive.

Made in Shanghai, the Tesla Model 3 (pictured) was Australia's fourth most popular car last month, with 2,380 orders taken, making it even more popular than the Toyota LandCruiser all-wheel drive.

Made in Shanghai, the Tesla Model 3 (pictured) was Australia’s fourth most popular car last month, with 2,380 orders taken, making it even more popular than the Toyota LandCruiser all-wheel drive.

The Tesla Model Y — priced from $72,300 and also made in China — found 1,017 new owners last month in its first month going on sale in Australia.

The Tesla Model Y — priced from $72,300 and also made in China — found 1,017 new owners last month in its first month going on sale in Australia.

Australia’s most popular electric car, with a starting price of $63,900, has come from China rather than the United States since last year, with 7,037 sold so far in 2022.

The Tesla Model Y — priced from $72,300 and also made in China — found 1,017 new owners last month in its first month going on sale in Australia.

Elon Musk’s electric car brand also makes the Model S and Model X at Fremont, California for the Australian market, but so far this year the only Teslas sold locally have been made in China.

Tesla just started releasing sales data to the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries this year.

Chinese brand MG became one of the top ten best-selling brands in Australia last year, ranking seventh in August.

The MG ZS EV is Australia’s most affordable all-electric car with a starting price of $44,990 to drive.

The MG ZS EV is Australia's most affordable all-electric car with a starting price of $44,990 to drive.  But so far only 138 have been sold this year and none have been ordered in August

The MG ZS EV is Australia’s most affordable all-electric car with a starting price of $44,990 to drive. But so far only 138 have been sold this year and none have been ordered in August

The BMW IX3 may have a German license plate and a starting price of $114,900, but it's also made in China.  This all-electric 'sports vehicle' achieved 58 sales in August, with 349 orders since January

The BMW IX3 may have a German license plate and a starting price of $114,900, but it’s also made in China. This all-electric ‘sports vehicle’ achieved 58 sales in August, with 349 orders since January

But so far only 138 have been sold this year and none have been ordered in August.

Australia’s best-selling cars in August

1. TOYOTA HILUX: 6,214 sales (made in Thailand)

2. FORD RANGER: 4,497 sales (made in Thailand)

3. TOYOTA RAV4: 2,482 sales (made in Japan)

4. TESLA MODEL 3: 2,380 sales (made in China)

5. TOYOTA LAND CRUISER: 2,379 sales (made in Japan)

6. MAZDA CX-5: 2,325 sales (made in Japan)

7. TOYOTA COROLLA: 2,115 sales (made in Japan and Thailand)

8. MITSUBISHI TRITON: 2,087 sales (made in Thailand)

9. HYUNDAI I30: 1,975 sales (made in South Korea)

10. ISUZU UTE D-MAX: 1,928 sales (made in Thailand)

Source: Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries

That’s a significant drop from 2021 when MG sold 1,388 of the EV version.

MG’s parent company, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation, has turned an old British sports car brand into a budget offering for the mass market.

The Chinese-built Polestar 2, priced from $63,900, made 38 sales in August and 694 so far this year.

This EV is an offshoot of Volvo, with the Chinese Geely group owning the Swedish brand that is synonymous with safety.

Volvo’s C40 electric hatch, priced from $74,990, is also made in China with two sold in August after the model only recently went on sale in Australia.

The Volvo XC40 SUV, priced from $72,990, is also made in China, with three sold last month for a year-to-date sales figure of 525.

The BMW IX3 may have a German license plate and a starting price of $114,900, but it’s also made in China.

This all-electric ‘sports vehicle’ achieved 58 sales in August, with 349 orders placed since January.

Last month, 3,498 electric cars from China were sold in Australia, with models from Tesla, Polestar, Volvo and BMW accounting for 82.6 percent of the 4,235 electric cars ordered.

Fully electric cars had a market share of 4.4 percent of all 95,256 vehicles sold in August.

From January to August, electric cars had a smaller market share of two percent, with 14,524 sold so far out of 717,575 of all new vehicles ordered.

But sales of Chinese-made electric cars were 9,762, representing a 67.2 percent share of the Australian electric vehicle market.

The other third included cars from Audi, BMW, Hyundai and the luxury branch Genesis, Jaguar, Kia, Lexus, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Nissan and Renault.

The Volvo XC40 SUV, priced from $72,990, is also made in China, with three sold last month for a year-to-date sales figure of 525

The Volvo XC40 SUV, priced from $72,990, is also made in China, with three sold last month for a year-to-date sales figure of 525

The China-built Polestar 2, priced from $63,900, made 38 sales in August and 694 so far this year

The China-built Polestar 2, priced from $63,900, made 38 sales in August and 694 so far this year

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