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A staff member charges an electric bus at a charging station on April 1, 2022 in Wuhan, Hubei Province of China. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

As US Funds Pentagon Bloat, China Investments in Green Energy Soar

In the first quarter of 2022, China is expected to take 65% of the global market in new-energy vehicles.

Juan Cole

 by Informed Comment

China is beating the pants off the United States in the burgeoning new energy vehicle market, out-producing and out-selling America with regard to plug-in vehicles by a massive margin. Whereas the Chinese government is supporting this new industry, the US government is still subsidizing fossil fuels and is spending $728.5 billion a year on the Pentagon at a time when the US is not even at war. The result is bloated and problematic engines of destruction like the failed F-35.

In 2021, about 4 million EVs were produced around the world. That year, China made 57.4% of them.

In the first quarter of 2022, China is expected to take 65% of the global market in new-energy vehicles, according to Yang Yang at China Daily.

China exported about 500,000 new-energy cars in 2021, 2.6 times more than the previous year,. China's EV exports to Europe rose fivefold to 230,000 units write Akashi Kawakami, Yohei Muramatsu and Saki Shirai at Nikkei Asia.

You know whose EV exports to Europe did not increase five times in 2021? America's.

In contrast, the US automakers accounted for just 12% of global EV sales in 2021, Nikkei Asia says, Worse, the US lost market share in this sector compared to 2020. We're not only not at the forefront of this industry, we are falling behind.

The US Republican Party and their plus-one, Sen. Joe Manchin, are preventing the US from becoming the dominant automaker in the world in this decade by consistently shooting down the green energy and transportation provisions of the now-moribund Build Back Better bill backed by President Biden.

The major Chinese automaker BYD announced Sunday that it now no longer even produces gasoline-driven vehicles using internal combustion engines (ICE). The US looks increasingly like a backward, lumbering dinosaur in this new, green technological environment.

Inside China, EVs had been 6% of new vehicle purchases at the beginning of 2021, but skyrocketed to 22% by the end of last year. That is an increase of 1.3% a month every month, Yang points out.

In absolute numbers, in January 2021, China sold 173,000 new energy cars. In January, 2022, 372,615 new plug-in vehicles were registered. That is more than double—115%.

This are incredible numbers.

In 2021, about 4 million EVs were produced around the world. That year, China made 57.4% of them. This year its market share is increasing significantly.

Chinese firms are aggressively invading formerly Japanese-dominated car markets such as Thailand, Nikkei Asia says. The country's largest producer of automobiles, SAIC Motor, sells its MG EP new-energy car in Thailand for 30% less than the price of a Nissan Leaf EV.

© 2021 Juan Cole
Juan Cole

Juan Cole

Juan Cole teaches Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan. His newest book, "Muhammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires" was published in 2020. He is also the author of  "The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation Is Changing the Middle East" (2015) and "Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East" (2008).  He has appeared widely on television, radio, and on op-ed pages as a commentator on Middle East affairs, and has a regular column at He has written, edited, or translated 14 books and has authored 60 journal articles. 

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