Recently, NIO, a Chinese automobile manufacturer, has launched a mass production electric car with what could be the world’s farthest driving range, as it ups the ante with Tesla for customers in the largest market for new-energy vehicles on the planet.

The competition is truly heating up now in China’s electric vehicle (EV) market as almost 200 carmakers and internet start-ups jostle for supremacy in an industry where one in every five cars will be powered by a non-fossil fuel source by 2025. China, has been the world’s largest market for all vehicles since 2009; and has been confirmed to have the most number of electric cars on the road compared to the rest of the world.

Elon Musk’s Tesla used to be the only big name company on the scene with regards to the EV market in China, but new innovative upstart companies have slowly begun to encroach on Tesla’s dominion. NIO’s third model since the six-year-old carmaker’s establishment comes as Xpeng Motors is poised to roll out a lidar-based autonomous driving system, something that Tesla’s chief executive Elon Musk derided as too expensive.

Even tech companies are now joining the fray, as China’s leading search engine, Baidu, has recently announced a new partnership with vehicle manufacturer Geely to manufacture EV cars.

Baidu, which already runs one of the world’s largest open autonomous-driving platforms, plans to use Geely’s production facilities and development capabilities to reinforce its foray into car manufacturing, according to two sources with knowledge of the matter. Shares of Geely Automobile shot up by a fifth in Hong Kong last Friday.

“EV has become the new gold mine as investors and technology giants believe building next-generation cars is a huge business,” said Eric Han, senior manager at business advisory firm Shanghai Suolei. “But not every player can afford to enter the game as all leading smart EV companies are still burning the cash.”

It will be interesting to see where the increased competition in the EV market will lead to by 2025.


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