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Although China is often praised for its innovative tech, such as a myriad of consumer drones and unique smartphones that are only available in the country, its EV sector has struggled to produce vehicles that stand out from the crowd, either in style or functionality.
Our contributor Yaling dived into the matter. China’s EV industry has been inundated with a number of vehicles that look the same, feature similar battery sizes and driving ranges, and are largely seen as homogenous in the eyes of Chinese car buyers, who have been described as “the smartest and toughest consumers in the world.”
To be fair, several Chinese EV makers have introduced some unique features, such as Nio’s AI assistant and the silhouette of BYD’s Han, a midsize luxury sedan designed by Mercedes-Benz’s former chief designer. One vehicle that is different from the pack is Wuling Hongguang’s miniature EV, which makes it easy to navigate cramped urban roads.
China is an increasingly favorable environment for EVs. There’s even a plan to have 11.2 million charging piles by 2025, according to a report issued by Beijing-based think tank EO Intelligence.
With such a huge opportunity, it’s curious why the country’s EV makers haven’t done more to create differentiable cars. Perhaps there’s a risk factor that a new feature won’t appeal to consumers, or maybe automakers are fine sticking with what they know to be working. Regardless, as the EV market continues to grow, it will be crucial for car companies to do something different, or else they’ll drown in a sea of indistinguishable competition.
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