Electric (soft) power
How the EV industry is becoming a geopolitical battleground
China’s Electric Vehicle dominance
China’s assertive expansion in the global EV market aligns with its broader geopolitical ambitions. By dominating this market, China not only capitalizes economically but also gains significant influence in shaping global standards and practices in the automotive industry. This strategic positioning allows China to extend its influence beyond its borders, using its EV industry as a conduit for expanding its soft power and international standing.
These two recent stories in the FT show further how that is playing out:
Battery makers in the EU are being offered €3bn in subsidies [paywall] as the bloc attempts to catch up with China by jump-starting the electric vehicle industry.
The Biden administration has moved to choke off China’s role [paywall] in the US’s electric vehicle supply chain with rules aimed to boost domestic industry but could slow the transition from petrol.
Once again, we remind readers this a bellwether story, combining technological innovation, trade, soft power, consumers, great power competition and environmental concerns.
With young people’s engagement in politics and society a frequent topic of this newsletter, this caught our attention: Young Americans appear less likely to vote in 2024 than they did in 2020, which was a record-setting year for youth turnout.
Meanwhile, in Europe, parties regarded by the mainstream as “far right”, are seeing a surge in support.
Many young people are not xenophobic but their lives are precarious, say experts, amid crises in housing and healthcare
We’d point you towards what we said in one of our previous newsletters: