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Musk, China Rival Clash Over Whether China is World EV Leader

He Xiaopeng, the CEO of one of Tesla’s biggest local rivals, says China is still at least ten years away from being a true global leader.

Elon Musk says China is leading the world in renewables and the EV sector.
Elon Musk's prolific use of Twitter has ensured that he is constantly making headlines or stirring controversy. File photo: AFP.


Tesla chief executive Elon Musk lauded China for leading the world in electric vehicles and renewable energy, but a top EV rival in the country disagreed.

“Few seem to realise that China is leading the world in renewable energy generation and electric vehicles,” he said in a post on Twitter, under a post about China leading the world on installed wind power capacity.  “Whatever you may think of China, this is simply a fact.”

He Xiaopeng, the CEO of Xpeng Motors, one of Tesla’s biggest rivals, disputed Musk’s assessment of leadership in the global EV sector in comments on China’s Twitter-like Weibo social media platform.

“China is not leading the entire world in the electric vehicle race: it is just one of the many frontrunners,” he said. “We had the same heady, vainglorious confidence in telecoms and Internet ten years ago but the tech war has revealed that we are leading on fewer fronts than we previously thought.

To really lead the global charge into an EV era, China not only needs to lead in advanced technologies and EV models but also needs to lead in markets abroad with an all-win business model, He said, adding that “China is still at least ten years away from achieving all of these.”


• Jim Pollard





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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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