New WTO research: What does the huge shift in global electric vehicle import data mean?

The WTO article states that electric vehicles are fundamentally changing the transportation industry, redefining the automotive market, and reshaping global transportation equipment trade

The WTO article stated that electric vehicles are fundamentally changing the transportation industry, redefining the automobile market, and reshaping global transportation equipment trade.
On the 14th local time, the World Trade Organization (WTO) released its latest blog article, saying that electric vehicles (EVs) are fundamentally changing the transportation industry, redefining the automobile market, and reshaping global transportation equipment trade.
The WTO article shows that by the end of 2023, electric vehicles will account for more than one-third of global automobile imports in terms of value.
The WTO has observed that in recent years, sales of various types of electric vehicles, including hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and battery electric vehicles (BEV), have increased dramatically.
Huge changes in vehicle types According to WTO calculations, import data from 2017 to 2023 shows that electric vehicles have undergone a huge change in general.
Initially, hybrid vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles and battery electric vehicles accounted for a small proportion of total vehicle imports. They were approximately 2.5%, 0.8% and 1% respectively.
Since then, however, the electric vehicle trade has grown significantly.
Among them, hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles continue to grow.
Hybrid growth will be more active after 2020.
Battery electric vehicles have the fastest growth rate. The share of imports has increased sharply after 2020. The import volume is close to that of hybrid vehicles. This indicates that electric vehicles are undergoing a significant shift towards all-electric models.
By the end of 2023, electric vehicles will account for more than one-third of global vehicle imports by value.
While the growth rate appears to be slowing in 2023, the clear upward trend in electric vehicles, especially battery electric vehicles, signals a significant change in demand and may indicate the future direction of the global automotive industry.
The WTO wrote in the article that as of 2023, the United States has become one of the major importers of electric vehicles in the world. The import value of battery, hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will reach US$19 billion, nearly US$17.8 billion and US$6.9 billion respectively. The U.S. dollar accounts for more than one-fifth of total U.S. auto imports, marking the increasingly widespread use of electric vehicles.
Imports of electric vehicles have also increased significantly in some European countries and South Korea.
In Europe, especially Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland, the import value of electric vehicles has exceeded the import value of traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, reaching a critical point.
At the same time, the WTO article stated that the types of electric vehicles exported have undergone tremendous changes.
In 2017, Germany and Japan were the largest exporters of passenger cars. The proportion of electric vehicles exported was very small.
By 2023, about one-third of the cars exported by these countries will be electric vehicles.
Japan has become the world\’s largest exporter of hybrid vehicles.
The WTO wrote in the article that by 2023, China has become a major exporter of passenger cars. About 1.8 million of them (about one-third) are electric vehicles. There are more than 1.5 million battery electric vehicles. This means that exports in 2023 One out of every four battery electric cars comes from China.
In January 2024, Lu Daliang, spokesman for the General Administration of Customs and director of the Statistics and Analysis Department, said that in 2021 and 2022, my country\’s automobile export volume will continue to reach the level of 2 million and 3 million vehicles.
In 2023, it crossed two million levels. Exports were 5.221 million vehicles, a year-on-year increase of 57.4%.
He said that what is particularly important to say here is that our country is vigorously promoting the green and low-carbon transformation and upgrading of the automobile industry. The export of new energy vehicles adds bright color to the industry.
Currently, one out of every three cars exported by my country is an electric passenger vehicle. The annual export volume was 1.773 million vehicles, an increase of 67.1%. This contributes to the global green and low-carbon transformation.
Import tariff structure The WTO wrote in the article that some WTO members use most-favored nation (MFN) tariffs to promote the import of electric vehicles. They are often distinguished according to the type of electric vehicles.
If the 27 EU member states are counted as one WTO member, current data shows that one out of every three WTO members allows duty-free import of battery electric vehicles.
At the same time, for hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles, one out of every four WTO members allows them to enjoy tax exemptions.
As for internal combustion engine vehicles, only one out of every six WTO members allows them to enjoy most-favored nation duty-free treatment.
If only finished new vehicles are considered, and ambulances and hearses are not included, the data shows that 40 out of 123 economies impose lower tariffs on battery electric vehicles than internal combustion engine vehicles. The remaining economies impose tariffs on these two types of vehicles. same.
This tariff structure shows that some WTO members are formulating policies to promote the use of battery electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles. Other members that do not discriminate in terms of tariff treatment may be adopting other types of policies, such as subsidies or technical regulations, etc. .

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