Chinese EV companies set out to conquer the world. Here's looking at who is who

  • Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers are storming into new markets, posing a big threat to established players.
View of a car during the announcement of the beginning of GWM factory activities to produce electric and hybrid cars in Iracemapolis, Brazil. (REUTERS)
View of a car during the announcement of the beginning of GWM factory activities to produce electric and hybrid cars in Iracemapolis, Brazil.

The Chinese electric vehicle play-field is peppered by a long list of global players, each looking at conquering the world's biggest automotive market. But these legacy car makers don't just have to compete against each other but also take on the full might of local Chinese rivals who are now taking the fight to the global arena.

China has a sizeable number of local car makers and the number of these that now also produce electric vehicles or EVs is growing. Some of the newer ones only manufacture EVs. And many are now looking at not only dominating at home but spreading to markets abroad as well. So even though there have been moves elsewhere to check on the rise of Chinese companies - the Inflation Reduction Act in the US seeks to incentivize EVs manufactured locally, for instance, companies like BYD and Great Wall Motors remain unfazed.

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The growth trajectory of many of the Chinese EV companies is quite impressive and even Tesla, the world's largest EV manufacturer, is facing some of the heat. In China, Tesla had to slash prices of its models but soon enough, the fight may come calling to its home base of the US too.

Here is a look at some of the biggest Chinese EV companies that are looking at a global expansion:

BYD - Build Your Dreams

Watch: BYD Atto 3: First Drive Review

Headquartered in the Chinese city of Shenzen, BYD Auto was established in 2003 and is an electric vehicle-exclusive company. The company manufactures electric cars, cycles, buses, trucks and even rechargeable batteries. It is one of the biggest EV players in China - edging past Tesla in 2022 in terms of local sales, and has now entered markets like India, Japan, Uzbekistan and the UK, with plans of entering more European countries too.

GWM - Great Wall Motors

Headquartered in Baoding, GWM manufactures and sells electric vehicles under several brands like GWM, ORA, Haval, WEY, TANK and POER. The company is primarily known for manufacturing SUVs and pick-up trucks. In recent times, GWM has established its presence in several global markets such as the US, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain and the UK. GWM also has presence in African countries like Senegal, South Africa, Ethiopia and Nigeria, as well as in South American nations like Paraguay, Chile, Uruguay, Argentina and Bolivia, among others.


Headquartered in Shanghai, NIO Inc considers itself as a key rival to Tesla. It is also one of the newer Chinese EV companies and was established in 2014. But its expansion within China has been quite meteoric with models like EP9 sports car, EC6 coupe SUV and ES6 mid-size SUV faring strong. And while it has been going from strength to strength within China, it has also kept a searching eye open for opportunities elsewhere. Late last year, the company officially announced its European entry with Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and Denmark in focus. The company also has a headquarter in the US while it has confirmed it is looking to enter 25 new markets by 2025, including the US.

First Published Date: 02 May 2023, 09:54 AM IST

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