Chinese EVs. They’re the fuel to the fire that prompted the European Union to investigate whether or not slapping tariffs on them will make the world a better place. Tesla CEO and social media owner extraordinaire Elon Musk also went on record saying that Chinese automakers would “demolish” American car manufacturers if it weren’t for trade barriers, more of which are apparently in the works.

China-based EV builders are trying to get ahead of the curve by planning to build factories either in Mexico or countries of the EU. Still, until that happens, the fact of the matter is that Europe has its fair share of Chinese-made battery-powered cars available. The abundance of models and their relatively low prices managed to scare big names like Volkswagen, Stellantis, and Renault into rethinking their EV strategies.

But is the threat of Chinese EVs actually that big? And more importantly, what are the names of these cars that made high-ranking officials take a stand? Well, you came to the right place because this article will tell you exactly what you’re looking for.

We’ll start by laying out some numbers. China is the world’s latest market for electric vehicles, thanks in no small part to massive state subsidies and big tax breaks for domestic manufacturers. This led to a boom in EV-specific technology development and a rise in the number of companies that would otherwise be unable to bring a complete, working car to the market.

According to customs data quoted by NPR, Chinese EV shipments to Europe increased by 361% since 2021. That said, made-in-China battery-powered cars accounted for just 10% of the 1.1 million BEVs sold in Europe in 2022, according to KPMG.

But that number is rising thanks to the almost irresistible attraction to prices that are sometimes 30% lower than European-made EVs. So let’s take a look at what cars Chinese carmakers are trying to push on the Old Continent so that we can get an idea of what to expect if they’ll ever make their way stateside.

The prices include VAT but don’t include any state or local incentive. The range is the maximum figure for the combined cycle in the WLTP testing procedure.

Gallery: 2023 BYD Dolphin in European specification

BYD Dolphin

  • Price: from €33,990 ($37,065) in France
  • Range: 427 km (265 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 60.4 kWh

BYD, which is an acronym for Build Your Dreams, is the world’s largest manufacturer of so-called new-energy vehicles, or NEVs–that’s hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and all-electric cars. The Dolphin is one of the most affordable EVs made by BYD, and it won accolades almost everywhere it’s been made available, thanks in part to the automaker’s strategy to tweak the model for each specific market. In Japan, where the Dolphin won the “2023 EV of the Year Award,” the hatchback was made slightly shorter so that it could fit in the automated parking garages that are common in the country.

In Europe, the Dolphin is longer than the version sold in China because BYD wanted to make sure it got high marks in Euro NCAP’s crash testing procedures. And high marks it got, scoring five out of five stars during last year’s testing.

Gallery: 2023 BYD Seal in European specification

BYD Seal

  • Price: from €46,990 ($51,250) in France
  • Range: 570 km (354 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 82.5 kWh

The Seal is seen by many as being the biggest rival to the popular Tesla Model 3, Chinese-made or otherwise, and it’s easy to see why.

In France, the BYD Seal slots right between the two versions of the Model 3, both in terms of price and claimed range. Tesla’s electric sedan starts at €42,990 ($46,900) and offers a WLTP-rated range of 513 km (318 miles) in the entry-level rear-wheel drive version, while the Dual-Motor All-Wheel Drive Model 3 starts at €50,990 ($55,600) and has a claimed range of 629 km (390 miles). 

Meanwhile, the rear-wheel drive version of the BYD Seal starts at €46,990 ($51,290) and offers 570 km (354 miles) of range, and the dual-motor version goes from €49,990 ($54,500) and has a claimed range of 520 km (323 miles).

Gallery: BYD Atto 3

BYD Atto 3

  • Price: from €37,990 ($41,450) in Germany
  • Range: 420 km (260 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 60.4 kWh

Moving up on the price range in BYD’s lineup, the Atto 3 is an all-electric crossover that’s smaller than the Tesla Model Y but roughly the same size as the Volkswagen ID.4. However, the Atto 3 has a starting price that’s about €2,000 ($2,200) lower than the ID.4 all while offering a driving range that’s 56 km (34 miles) longer than the German electric crossover, thanks to the Atto 3’s larger battery.

Gallery: BYD Seal U

BYD Seal U (also known as the Song Plus EV)

  • Price: from €42,740 ($46,650) in Belgium
  • Range: up to 500 km (310 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 71.8 kWh or 87 kWh

The Seal U is much closer to the Model Y in terms of size than the Atto 3, but it’s also more expensive than its smaller brother. However, its starting price is still roughly €1,000 ($1,100) lower than the Model Y in Belgium.

This time around, though, Tesla’s Model Y wins the range game, seeing how the entry-level BYD Seal U has a claimed WLTP figure of 420 km (260 miles), while the cheapest Model Y has 455 km (282 miles).

Gallery: BYD Han


  • Price: from €70,800 ($77,300) in France
  • Range: 521 km (323 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 85.4 kWh

The story goes on with the Han, which is BYD’s flagship electric sedan, much like the Model S is Tesla’s flagship sedan. The two battery-powered cars have similar dimensions, but again, it’s the price where BYD wins.

In France, the Han starts at €70,800 ($77,300), which gets you a fairly well-appointed all-wheel drive EV with up to 323 miles of WLTP range. At the same time, the base Tesla Model S, which is also all-wheel drive, starts at €94,990 ($103,700) in the Hexagon.

Granted, the Tesla Model S Dual-Motor has a WLTP-rated range of 634 km (393 miles), has a higher top speed, and can accelerate from zero to 62 mph (0-100 kph) quicker than the BYD Han, but to budget-minded customers, the lower price will always trump the specs sheet.

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Gallery: 2021 BYD Tang

BYD Tang

  • Price: from €70,800 ($77,300) in France
  • Range: 400 km (248 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 86.4 kWh

The Tang is BYD’s flagship electric crossover in Europe. It’s not quite as big as the Tesla Model X (it’s roughly 6 inches shorter), but just like the company’s other offerings, it’s rather well priced on the Old Continent, starting at under €71,000 in France.

By comparison, the Model X–which, again, is slightly larger and offers 176 km (109 miles) of extra range on the WLTP cycle–starts at €101,990 in the Hexagon. However, the Audi Q8 e-tron, which is almost identical size-wise to the Tang, is also more expensive than its Chinese rival.

In France, the Q8 starts at €89,100, which is a lot of money over the Tang, but it also comes with more range–532 km (330 miles) versus the Tang’s 400 km.

Aiways U5

  • Price: from €33,250 ($36,400) in Germany
  • Range: up to 400 km (248 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 63 kWh

Aiways is a rather obscure name, even in its home country, but even so, it managed to establish a presence on the Old Continent. The company was founded in 2017 in Shanghai and then it bought a stake in the Chinese automaker Jiangling Holdings, which allowed it to start vehicle production sooner than an up-and-coming startup would otherwise have.

However, things are far from rosy for the once-promising automaker, with its fate somewhat of an unknown. Last year it suspended one of its factories, ended the lease on its Shanghai headquarters, and was struggling to pay its staff.

Its first model, the U5, debuted in 2018. It features a sandwich-style battery pack with cells provided by CATL, but the pack and its electronics were designed in-house by Aiways.

The U5 is roughly the same size as the Volkswagen ID.4 but the starting price is €7,000 ($7,700) lower than the ID.4.

Gallery: Aiways U6 EU Version

Aiways U6

  • Price: from €48,178 ($52,700) in Germany
  • Range: 405 km (251 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 63 kWh

The U6 from Aiways uses the same 63 kWh battery as the U5 but its body is larger, putting it in the same category as the wildly popular Tesla Model Y. With a fastback shape, the U6 has a single, front-mounted electric motor that makes 150 kW (201 hp). That’s not a lot of power for an all-electric crossover, and the price is also not that attractive, considering the entry-level Tesla Model Y starts at €44,990 in Germany and offers more range for the money.

Gallery: 2023 Xpeng P7 Refresh

Xpeng P7

  • Price: from 472,903 Norwegian kroner ($45,150) in Norway
  • Range: up to 576 km (357 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 86.2 kWh

Xpeng, which stands for Xiaopeng, which is one of the names of its founders, is somewhat of a darling of the technology community, at least in China. The company was founded just 10 years ago but attracted high-ranking names from giants like Alibaba, Xiaomi, and GAC Group. 

Xpeng’s second model, the P7 four-door electric sedan, was launched in 2019 and exports to Norway began in 2021. It slots between the Tesla Model 3 and Model S in terms of size and features Xpeng’s Xpilot 3.0 driving assistance system that includes 12 ultrasonic sensors, 14 cameras, 5 high-precision millimeter-wave radars, and 31 other sensors.

Gallery: 2023 Xpeng G9

Xpeng G9

  • Price: from 537,430 Norwegian kroner ($51,300) in Norway
  • Range: up to 570 km (354 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 78.2 kWh or 98 kWh

The G9 is slightly larger than the Tesla Model Y and it’s also more expensive than the American electric crossover. It features Xpeng’s next-generation driving assistance system known as Xpilot 4.0 which ups the ante with Level 4-capable automated driving hardware. It’s also based on an 800-volt architecture and has two Nvidia Drive Orin system-on-a-chip.

Gallery: NIO ET5


  • Price: from 408,000 Danish kronen ($59,850) in Denmark
  • Range: up to 560 km (347 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 75 kWh or 100 kWh

Nio made a name for itself after it charged ahead with its battery-swapping stations in China and later in Europe. The company is so confident in the technology that the base prices you see here don’t include the price of the battery, making them quite attractive at first glance.

Customers can buy the packs, though, or they can pay a monthly subscription which takes the hassle out of having to deal with a dead battery sometime down the line. Nio also offers subscriptions for the whole car.

The ET5 fastback is Nio’s Model 3 rival. Unlike the American-designed EV, however, the ET5 features a digital cockpit with augmented reality and virtual reality built-in, as well as a myriad of sensors that feed information to the advanced driving assistant systems.

The ET5 is more expensive than the entry-level Model 3 and offers less range when comparing the top-spec versions.

Gallery: 2023 NIO ES6

Nio EL6 (also known as the ES6 in its home market)

  • Price: from 454,000 Danish kronen ($66,600) in Denmark
  • Range: up to 529 km (328 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 75 kWh or 100 kWh

The ES6, which is known as the EL6 in Europe because Audi won a court case arguing ES6 sounds too much like E S6, is an all-electric crossover that comes with massaging seats, up to 529 km (328 miles) of WLTP-rated range, and ADAS with about 50 sensors.

It’s slightly larger than the Tesla Model Y and it’s also more expensive, being positioned as a premium model. Also, don’t forget that the price of the battery isn’t included in the MSRP.

Gallery: NIO ET7


  • Price: from 684,000 Danish kronen ($100,350) in Denmark
  • Range: up to 580 km (360 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 75 kWh or 100 kWh

The ET7 is the company’s flagship sedan, much like the Model S is Tesla’s flagship four-door sedan. It has a similar advanced driving assistance system as the other models in the automaker’s lineup and ups the poshness with soft-close, frameless window doors, a large panoramic roof, and a 23-speaker Dolby Atmos-certified sound system.

Gallery: Nio ES7

NIO EL7 (also known as the ES7 in its home market)

  • Price: from 724,000 Danish kronen ($106,250) in Denmark
  • Range: up to 509 km (316 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 75 kWh or 100 kWh

The EL7 (or ES7 in China) is the largest crossover Nio sells in Europe. It’s positioned as a luxury EV that comes as standard with a lot of leather, power-adjustable backrest at the rear, and vehicle-to-load (V2L) functionality.

Gallery: Ora Funky Cat First Edition in UK specification

GWM Ora 03 (also known as the Ora Funky Cat)

  • Price: from €26,990 in Germany
  • Range: up to 420 km (260 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 48 kWh or 63 kWh

The Ora 03 is made by Great Wall Motor (GWM) and is marketed as a retro-futuristic compact hatchback. It’s available with two battery sizes and its starting price is among the lowest in Europe.

Gallery: Maxus eDeliver 3

Maxus eDeliver 3 (also known as the Maxus LDV EV30)

  • Price: from €45,208 ($49,500) in Germany
  • Range: up to 238 (147 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 50 kWh

Maxus is owned and operated by SAIC Motor, which is China’s largest state-owned carmaker. The same company also owns the formerly British marque MG and during the 1980s it played a key role in Volkswagen’s entrance into the Chinese market by forming a joint venture with the German brand.

The eDeliver 3 is an all-electric two-seat commercial van that can carry up to 860 kilograms (1,895 pounds). It’s aimed at people and companies who need to haul stuff inside large cities. It’s powered by a front-mounted 118-kW (158 hp) electric motor and its 50-kWh battery pack can be recharged from 5 to 80% in 45 minutes when hooked up to a DC fast charger.

Gallery: Maxus eDeliver 9

Maxus eDeliver 9

  • Price: from €76,743 ($83,900) in Germany
  • Range: up to 328 km (203 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 72 kWh or 89 kWh

The larger eDeliver 9 is a competitor for the Ford E-Transit and can haul up to 1,275 kg (2,810 lbs) in the rear cargo area. It seats three, it has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and its front electric motor makes 150 kW (201 hp).

Gallery: Maxus T90 EV

Maxus T90 EV

  • Price: from €65,438 ($71,500) in Germany
  • Range: 330 km (205 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 89 kWh

The T90 EV is the only mid-size electric pickup on the European market today. The Ford F-150 Lightning, which is larger, is available only in Norway, while the smaller Ford Ranger, Isuzu D-Max, Mitsubishi L200, and Toyota Hilux don’t offer an electric powertrain on the Old Continent.

The Maxus T90 EV is powered by a single, rear-mounted 130-kW (174-hp) electric motor, meaning that it’s not four-wheel drive like its combustion-powered competitors. It’s also quite expensive.

Gallery: Maxus Euniq 6

Maxus Euniq 6

  • Price: from €53,490 ($58,500) in Germany
  • Range: 354 km (219 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 70 kWh

Maxus also makes more refined passenger vehicles like the Euniq 6 midsize crossover, which is powered by the same 130-kW motor as the T90 EV pickup, only this time it’s powering the front wheels.

The Euniq comes with adaptive cruise control, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 10.4-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system.

Gallery: Maxus Mifa 9

Maxus Mifa 9

  • Price: from €68,990 ($75,450) in Germany
  • Range: 440 km (273 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 90 kWh

The Mifa 9 is touted as being the world’s first luxury large minivan, going into production in 2021. We don’t know if that’s true, but we know that the Mifa 9 comes with a 90-kWh ternary lithium-ion battery pack that enables a WLTP-rated range of 440 km (273 miles) on a full charge.

The front-mounted electric motor is good for 180 kW (241 hp), and there’s a CCS port that enables the electric minivan to recharge from 30 to 80% in 30 minutes.

Gallery: Zeekr 001

Zeekr 001

  • Price: from €59,490 ($64,950) in the Netherlands
  • Range: up to 620 km (385 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 100 kWh

Zeekr, which is owned by Geely, the same company that also owns Volvo and Polestar, sells its cars in several markets around the world, including Europe.

The Zeekr 001 is the company’s first model. It’s a shooting brake packing a 100-kWh battery pack that enables a WLTP-rated range of 620 km (385 miles), while the 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) time is rated at 3.8 seconds.

Gallery: Zeekr X

Zeekr X

  • Price: from €42,490 ($46,400) in the Netherlands
  • Range: up to 445 km (276 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 69 kWh

The X is the smallest model in Zeekr’s lineup, and you can think of it as a reskinned Volvo EX30 (we’ll get to Volvo later). However, the X is roughly $10,000 more expensive than the EX30, which is hard to digest for a brand name that was nonexistent five years ago.

Gallery: Voyah Free EV

Dongfeng Voyah Free

  • Price: from CHF 69,990 ($79,500) in Switzerland
  • Range: 500 km (310 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 106.7 kWh

Dongfeng is another Chinese state-owned company and Voyah is its luxury brand. The Free is a mid-size crossover that was designed by Italdesign Giugiaro and packs a dual-motor powertrain that has an output of 360 kW (482 hp).

Gallery: Hongqi E-HS9

Hongqi E-HS9

  • Price: from 699,900 Norwegian kronen ($66,600) in Norway
  • Range: up to 515 km (320) WLTP
  • Battery: 99 kWh or 120 kWh

Hongqi, which means Red Flag, is China’s oldest automobile manufacturer. It’s owned by FAW Group, one of the country’s state-owned entities, and it’s known for producing high-end vehicles used to ferry around high-ranking officials.

The E-HS9 is the brand’s first all-electric SUV. Released in 2020, it’s available with a dual-motor, all-wheel drive setup that makes up to 405 kW (543 hp), while the interior can be specced in either six- or seven-seat configurations.

Gallery: Human Horizons HiPhi X

HiPhi X

  • Price: from €109,000 ($119,000) in Germany
  • Range: 460 km (285 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 97 kWh

Since its creation in 2019, Human Horizons’ premium EV brand managed to outsell names like Mercedes-Benz, Porsche, and Audi. Most of the heavy lifting was done by HiPhi’s first model the X, which is a futuristic-looking full-size crossover with 285 miles of WLTP range.

It should be noted that as of this writing, Human Horizons is in a bit of trouble, having suspended operations amid financial struggles. It may revive at some point with new investment or a takeover from another Chinese automaker. 

Gallery: Human Horizons HiPhi Z

HiPhi Z

  • Price: from €105,000 ($114,600) in Germany
  • Range: up to 555 km (344 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 120 kWh

The Z came after the X in HiPhi’s lineup as a four-door electric sedan with Nissan GT-R looks and suicide doors at the rear. It also has more range than its crossover sibling thanks to a larger, 120-kWh battery pack. That said, all this futurism comes at a pretty hefty price of over $110,000.

Gallery: Seres 3

Seres 3

  • Price: from €37,995 ($41,400) in the Netherlands
  • Range: 329 km (204 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 53 kWh

Seres is owned by Seres Group, a Chinese company established in the late 1980s. The Seres 3 subcompact crossover is one of its first products and it's sold on the Old Continent with a front-mounted 120-kW (160-hp) electric motor that draws juice from a 53-kWh ternary lithium-ion battery. It can fast charge at up to 120 kW.

Gallery: Seres 5 Test Drive

Seres 5

  • Price: from €46,850 ($51,100) in Spain
  • Range: up to 500 km (310 miles) WLTP
  • Battery: 80 kWh

The larger Seres 5 is roughly the same size as the Tesla Model Y, but its starting price is almost €4,000 ($4,400) higher than that of the American crossover. That said, the most affordable Tesla Model Y offers less range.

But that’s not all

The nearly three dozen EVs you just read about are just part of the story because there are at least 10 more battery-powered cars that are made in China bearing brand names that were once European. It’s also worth noting that these are just the tip of the iceberg–there are many more EVs on sale on the Chinese domestic market that haven’t made their way West yet.

MG, which once made light sports cars and convertibles, is now owned by SAIC Motor and makes no less than three EVs in China. Polestar and Volvo, both of which are based in Sweden, are owned by Geely and between them manufacture five EVs in China. Lotus, which is also owned by Geely, sells two Chinese-made luxurious and sporty EVs in Europe (and other parts of the world).

Furthermore, the diminutive Dacia Spring, which is one of the cheapest EVs on the Old Continent, is also made in China. Renault, which owns Dacia, has a joint venture with Nissan and Dongfeng, the latter of which has been building an electric version of the Indian- and Brazilian-spec Renault Kwid in China since 2019.

2025 Volvo EX30 Twin Motor Performance (Vapour Grey)

2025 Volvo EX30 Twin Motor Performance

Polestar 3 prototype undergoing extreme hot weather testing in UAE

Polestar 3

Dacia Spring (2024)

Dacia Spring (2024)

2024 Lotus Eletre S Exterior Front Quarter

2024 Lotus Eletre S

2024 MG MG4 XPower

2024 MG MG4 XPower

Some of these names will come and go and people will forget them in a couple of years. But others are sure to become more and more powerful in Europe and everywhere else thanks to their immense manufacturing capacity, technological prowess, and ability to price their models so competitively that prompted heavy-weight domestic companies to scramble and make something, anything that can compete with the barrage of cheap Chinese EVs. 

Some people want luxury and the luxury experience that’s engulfed in a brand like Porsche, but other people can’t afford a Porsche and only need something that’s cheap to buy, cheap to run, and only offers a sense of luxury.

Updated on March 18, 2024: Added models from Seres and tweaked the text to reflect the instability at Aiways and HiPhi.

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