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The best Chinese EVs to look out for when they reach Europe this year

BYD's new model Seal which entered the European market officially at IAA Mobility in Munich.
BYD's new model Seal which entered the European market officially at IAA Mobility in Munich. Copyright BYD
Copyright BYD
By Geraldine Herbert
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China is the world's biggest manufacturer of electric cars - and its latest models are coming to Europe. Here are five of the best to watch out for.

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Visitors to China's biggest motor show in Shanghai earlier this year would have been amazed not only at the dominance of electric vehicles (EVs) but also at the speed by which Chinese manufacturers are advancing into both the domestic and international markets.

This is particularly the case in Europe, the world’s second-largest market for EV sales after China.

With ambitious C02 reduction targets in the EU, Chinese car companies are boosting the availability of electric vehicles but many of Europe’s legacy carmakers fear they may reshape the continent’s automotive industry in the process.

But as both established players and new entrants battle to attract customers, the choice of new EVs continues to grow.

Here are some new Chinese models we can expect to see on Europe’s roads in the coming months.

HiPhi X

Contributed
The XPhiContributed

One of the most innovative electric car companies to emerge from China, HiPhi is launching an all-electric SUV to take on the Tesla Model X, Audi Q8 e-tron, and BMW iX.

The HiPhi X has a 97 kWh battery which is paired with two motors at the front and rear and gives a maximum range of 460 km.

Buyers can choose between two models at launch - a four or six-seat configuration - and unique features include headlights that can project images or even films and no-touch automatic wing-opening doors.

Orders are now being taken in Germany and Norway but the company is expected to announce the other European markets it will enter later in the year.

Right-hand drive versions for the UK and Irish markets are not likely until next year or later. The prices for a HiPhi X six-seater start from €109,000 (1,164,000 NOK) and for the four-seater from €123,000 (1,326,000 NOK).

BYD Seal

BYD
BYD's new Seal electric sedan which was launched in the European market at IAA Mobility 2023.BYD

Hot on the heels of the Atto 3 SUV and Dolphin hatchback, BYD’s latest model and most ambitious to date is an all-electric saloon, the Seal.

Competing with the likes of the Tesla Model 3, BMW i4, Polestar 2, and Hyundai’s Ioniq 6, the Seal is available in rear-wheel and all-wheel-drive.

Both share the same 82.5 kWh battery. In terms of range, the rear-wheel drive option can achieve 570 km on a single charge while the all-wheel drive models have a predicted range of 520 km.

BYD, or "Build Your Dreams," has sold more than 3.5 million cars and has been pioneering battery technology for more than two decades.

The battery uses LFP chemistry so it is cobalt-free and is cheaper to make than lithium-ion batteries as there are fewer precious materials required.

The new model, which was officially launched in the European market at IAA Mobility 2023, is set to arrive in Europe in the last quarter of the year with pricing starting from €44,900.

MG Cyberster

MG
MG is one of the most successful Chinese automakers in Europe.MG

A gorgeous all-electric two-seater sports car, the Cyberster is on the way from MG, one of the most successful Chinese brands in Europe.

Part of the SAIC group, China's largest carmaker, MG has been focused primarily on competitively priced family EVs so this marks their long-awaited return to MG sports car production.

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First revealed at the Shanghai Motor Show, it makes its European debut at the IAA Mobility 2023 motor show this week in Munich.

Inspired by classic British sports cars, the Cyberster is MG’s most powerful production car to date.

Around the same size as the BMW Z4 or Jaguar F-Type, it is expected to have a range of up to 480 km and will be available in rear-wheel and all-wheel drive versions.

MG traces its roots back to 1924 and the car will be launched as part of the centenary celebrations next year. There's no official word on price but it is unlikely to be pitched at the value end of the market.

Zeekr X

Zeekr
Zeekr was only founded two years agoZeekr

Like Polestar and Lotus, Zeekr is a part of the Geely Group which also owns Volvo and together with Mercedes-Benz, are partners in Smart Automotive.

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Founded just two years ago, Zeekr has international ambitions and is launching their flagship Zeekr 001 and the Zeekr X in Europe with first deliveries beginning in the autumn.

Zeekr X is a small electric crossover that shares much in common with the Smart #1 and Volvo EX30 and two versions will initially be available, a single-motor set-up and a dual-motor variant.

Zeekr X launches with a 69 kWh battery pack which, according to Zeekr can deliver a driving range of up to 440km.

Available for pre-order now in the Netherlands and Sweden, other European markets are expected to join their sales portfolio later this year.

Pricing for the Zeekr X starts at €44,990 and 550,000 SEK (approximately €46,300) for the single motor Long Range model.

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Nio EL6

Nio
Nio's all-new EL6 is now available to buy in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.Nio

In a crowded electric vehicle industry, Nio, founded in 2014, has been dubbed the Chinese answer to Tesla.

Orders are now being taken for Nio’s all-new EL6 in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, and Norway with cars arriving later in the year.

Designed to compete with the likes of the Tesla Model Y and BMW iX3, the EL6 brings something new to the electric family SUV in the form of battery swap technology.

The idea is that by eliminating the cost of the battery from the overall price EVS becomes accessible to a wider audience.

With this technology, electric car ownership is more feasible for people who cover a long distance regularly, those who don't have access to a home charger, and anyone with concerns about the battery's longevity.

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Swapping a depleted battery for a fully charged one takes as little as 5 minutes; however, the convenience and success of Nio’s model depends on how extensively located the battery swapping stations are but currently there are just 16 across Europe.

The EL6 is available with a choice of two battery packs. The entry-level model has a 75 kWh battery, while the top-of-the-range model gets a 100 kWh unit and a range of up to 520 km.

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