Inicio Policity and Regulation Miles apart: The US and Europe diverge on China car threat

Miles apart: The US and Europe diverge on China car threat

Miles apart: The US and Europe diverge on China car threat

But last month, Biden’s Energy Department announced with little explanation that it would not award the money after all. The proposed grant had drawn ferocious criticism from congressional Republicans because of the company’s ties to China, including a Microvast subsidiary there.  

Ford got similar pushback in February when it said it would work with CATL, a giant Chinese battery-maker, to build a battery plant in Michigan. Ford insists it is just licensing the technology, and that CATL will have no role in the factory. 

BMW XM cars are displayed during the 20th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition | Hector Retamal/AFP via Getty Images

Farley, Ford’s CEO, delicately objected to the criticism in his appearance last month at the Morgan Stanley conference. Like other automakers, Ford is working hard to deliver the features Americans demand in an EV, like longer range. Chinese companies may be best suited to deliver those advantages.

“They have some of the best battery technology,” Farley said of the Chinese. “If localizing their technology in the U.S. gets caught up in politics, you know, the customer is really going to get screwed.” 

Similar concerns exist in Europe.

William Todts, the head of Transport & Environment, wants as many people as possible to switch to EVs, but not while gutting the Continent’s most important industry.

“The goal is not to obstruct ambitious car and battery makers: the world sorely needs them. It’s to ensure intense but fair competition,” he wrote in a policy paper, adding that if the EU doesn’t act to block unfair competition from both China and the U.S., “Europe may well be on course to become a dumping ground for subsidized Sino-U.S. EVs and batteries.”

CORRECTION: This article has been updated to correct that the U.S. tariff applies to Chinese-made cars.