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US-China tech war escalates over EV battery dominance

Theαγωγοί έχουν γίνει τα τελευταία χρόνια κεντρικό σημείο στις προσπάθειες των ΗΠΑ να εμποδίσουν την τεχνολογική πρόοδο της Κίνας. Τώρα η Ουάσιγκτον στρέφει το βλέμμα της σε έναν ακόμη καυτό τεχνολογικό τομέα όπου η Κίνα κάνει μεγάλα βήματα: τις for electric vehicles.

Earlier this month, the Ministries of Finance and Energy suggested κανόνες που θα περιόριζαν τους αγοραστές ηλεκτρικών οχημάτων από τη διεκδίκηση εκπτώσεων φόρου εάν τα αυτοκίνητά τους περιέχουν μπαταριών από την Κίνα και άλλες χώρες που θεωρούνται «εχθρικές» προς τις ΗΠΑ Σύμφωνα με τον υπογραφόμενο νόμο για το κλίμα του Προέδρου Τζο Μπάιντεν που εγκρίθηκε πέρυσι, οι καταναλωτές δικαιούνται επιδοτήσεις έως και 7.500 $ αγορές ηλεκτρικών οχημάτων που κατασκευάζονται στις ΗΠΑ χρησιμοποιώντας κυρίως εγχώρια υλικά.

In response, China's Ministry of Commerce shot back last week, saying the US rules "discriminate against Chinese companies and violate WTO rules." Excluding Chinese suppliers from US tax benefits is a "routine non-market-oriented policy and practice," the ministry said.

The rules, aimed at reducing U.S. reliance on Chinese supply chains in a new era of decoupling, are likely to hamper Biden's efforts to increase sales of electric vehicles as part of the President's plan to halve his greenhouse gas emissions greenhouse gases warming the planet by 2030.

Also at stake is the U.S. goal of curbing China's dominance in a fast-growing sector fueled by the country's shift to electric vehicles. CATL and BYD, two of China's biggest battery makers, together accounted for about 53% of global EV battery use for the first ten months of this year, according to data from SNE research.

As of the third quarter of this year, China is the world's largest electric vehicle market with a 58% share, followed by the US and Germany, according to a research firm Counterpoint.

South Korean giants such as LG, the and SK On provide competitive alternatives to China's cheap and advanced batteries and are very likely to benefit from the deterioration of US-China relations. But even Korean companies are unsettled by the new geopolitical complications.

Although SK On has been tapped by both Ford and Hyundai to build US battery designs, parent SK Group chairman Chey Tae-won recently accused USA to maintain its costs at high levels. The battery arm of the Korean chaebol is now forced to look elsewhere for non-Chinese materials. China owns much of the global supply chain for EV batteriesfrom rare mineral mining, refining to cell production.

To maintain their cost appeal, Chinese battery companies are asking to set up factories in America that will continue to qualify their buyers for the EV tax credit. Industry giants such as Gotion, BYD and CATL have made strategic plans to manufacture in the US, although their journey is not without obstacles. Ford, for example, has temporarily halted plans to build a $3,5 billion EV battery plant with CATL in Michigan as U.S. politicians scrutinize its deal with the Chinese company.


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