China’s ‘new three’ exports dominate the 2023 global green transition

A Griffith University report shows China has been dominating global trade in electric vehicles (EV), lithium-ion batteries and solar photovoltaic (PV) as the developed world transitions away from fossil-based systems of energy production.

Griffith Asia Institute Director and co-author Professor Christoph Nedopil.

From the Griffith Asia Institute, the China Green Trade Report 2023 provides new insight about China’s ‘new three’ industries and what this growth might mean in the global system.

Griffith Asia Institute Director and co-author Professor Christoph Nedopil said the report is a critical contribution to addressing growing concern about international trade and overcapacity.

“China leads global manufacturing capabilities against a growing global demand for energy generation, energy storage and electric vehicles,” Professor Nedopil said.

“China’s lithium battery exports rose by 27.8 per cent in one year and reached USD $65 billion and the US are currently the main importer of Chinese lithium batteries.

“Prices for solar panels have fallen considerably in one year causing a decline in the monetary value of exports raising concern for oversupply issues.

Griffith Asia Institute Research Fellow and co-author Dr Jing Zhang.

“China’s Solar PV exports amount to around 220 gigawatts of energy generation capacity which rose swiftly from 164 gigawatts in 2022.”

Griffith Asia Institute Research Fellow and co-author Dr Jing Zhang said rapid innovation, daring business models and government support have led to the growth and development of new energy vehicle manufacturing in China.

“Reaching 1,545,832 units, China’s electric vehicle exports surged in 2023, marking a 64 per cent increase from 2022,” Dr Zhang said.

“Chinese company BYD Auto overtook Tesla as the leading producer of new energy vehicles and are aiming to produce over 5 million vehicles per year.

“Europe imports the largest share of EVs from China and the export of EVs to European counties increased from 12.55 million in 2017 to 19.20 billion in 2023 – a 1500-fold increase.”

In 2023 global production, China commanded:

    • 68 per cent for electric vehicles
    • 74 per cent for lithium batteries
    • 86 per cent for solar modules

The China Green Trade Report 2023 is published at the Griffith Asia Institute.

/University Release. View in full here.