What's the Chinese Electric Car Startup Survival Rate? One Percent, An Investor Predicts

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
whats the chinese electric car startup survival rate one percent an investor

China has bit of a gambling problem when it comes to electric car manufacturers, though it should probably be referred to as a “gambling solution.”

The country dumps vast sums of money into hundreds of EV startups, effectively hedging its bets by placing chips on absolutely everyone. With $15 billion already invested, the nation intends to put another $47 billion toward the cause — plus whatever funding investment firms decide to contribute. While the strategy has definitely stimulated the economy, created jobs, and supersized the industry, there’s growing concern that creating a battle royale between startups could blow up in China’s face.

Even if it doesn’t, there’ll still be a bunch of automakers eating each other until only a handful remain. Previous estimates had that number riding around 5 percent of the whole. But NIO Capital, the Chinese investment firm that’s already invested a gratuitous amount of funds into advanced automotive tech, claims the actual number will be far lower — probably around 1 percent.

Based on the ever-growing number of Chinese EV companies, that amounts to five firms.

“It’s a very complicated system that needs abundant investments and a large group of people to be able to build a car from scratch,” NIO Capital’s Managing Partner Ian Zhu in interview with Bloomberg. “Therefore, the survival rate of all these EV startups will be very low.”

He also said his firm prefers to fund cooperative projects between startups and traditional carmakers because they combine innovation with real manufacturing capabilities. Most new EV companies are nowhere near ready to build a car capable of being mass produced. That’s true for some of the more established automakers, too.

However, the mere prospect of delivering an electric vehicle seems enough to blow these new firms’ share prices through the ceiling. Meanwhile, traditional Chinese car makers lacking a slick (and largely hypothetical) EV have watched their stock valuation dwindle through 2018. That trend is expected to continue until all but a few of these companies go out of business.

[Image: Byton]

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  • TDIandThen.... TDIandThen.... on Aug 13, 2018

    I think we're overdue for a serious article from TTAC on NEVS, the Chinese group that bought up Saab assets and is slowly ramping up production of their electric 9-3 for Chinese car-share firm and the Swedish market. For all the beautiful wacky Swedish engineers, auto jobs and future new kooky autos, for thee, I pray. Well I'm agnostic but you get the idea.

  • Schmitt trigger Schmitt trigger on Aug 15, 2018

    Well...in the smog choked Chinese megacities, a few electrics could definitively help.

  • MaintenanceCosts This truck could go plenty farther (assuming good basic maintenance) but the price:remaining life ratio still makes me gag a bit. The used truck market remains overheated and the price is probably market correct, but these are the sort of prices that would make me prefer to buy a new truck if I could afford it.
  • Jeff S I ignore the commercials. Never owned a Mazda but I would definitely look at one and seriously consider it. I would take a Honda, Toyota, or Mazda over any German vehicle at least they are long lasting, reliable, and don't cost an arm and a leg to maintain.
  • GregLocock The predictable hysteria and repetition of talking points in the meeja is quite funny. it does not divide Oxford into six zones. it restricts access at 6 locations , one on each road, to reduce congestion in the town centre. Florence, which faces the same issue, traffic and narrow historic streets, lined with historic buildings, simply closed the entire town centre off. Don't see anybody whining about that.
  • Jeff S I have rented from Hertz before and never encountered this but if I had I would sue them. Would not want a gun pointed at me and thrown in jail for renting a car.
  • Arthur Dailey I did use a service pre COVID to get the pricing that the dealers were alleged to have paid the manufacturer. It also provided 'quotes' from multiple dealers .