Science

Biden believes Chinese EVs are a security threat to the US – saying software may be tracking American drivers


President Joe Biden announced he is taking steps against Chinese automakers to prevent them from selling EVs in the U.S. due to security risks.

There are currently 2.4 million EVs registered in the U.S., but Biden warned if China is allowed to flood the EV market, carmakers could easily track consumer data at a time when cars are constantly connected to our phones and navigation systems.

He equated vehicles to ‘smartphones on wheels,’ and said his administration is investigating the potential impact on national security with the possibility of a future ban on Chinese vehicles making their way into the American market.

China has made strides in recent years to amp up its EV production, accounting for 69 percent of all new global EV sales in December alone, and roughly nine million EVs sold last year compared to the U.S.’s 1.4 million sold in the nation.

Concerns that BYD (pictured) will send their EVs across U.S. borders have resulted in calls from lawmakers that Biden needs to take additional steps against Chinese automakers including imposing new tariffs on Chinese-made vehicles

Concerns that BYD (pictured) will send their EVs across U.S. borders have resulted in calls from lawmakers that Biden needs to take additional steps against Chinese automakers including imposing new tariffs on Chinese-made vehicles

China has estimated that it will sell 11.5 million EVs this year and is reportedly targeting to control 45 percent of the EV market by 2027, while the U.S. predicts 2.5 million in 2028.

Biden said if China’s EVs are allowed to flourish in the U.S., the country could ‘collect sensitive data’ and send it back to the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

He warned that China could also access the electric vehicles remotely or disable them altogether.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is investigating Chinese-made automotive software that’s embedded in their EVs, which could not only track where Americans drive but also where they charge their vehicles or what music and/or podcasts they listen to while driving.

The investigation comes as BYD – the largest EV manufacturer in China – is opening a production facility in Mexico, about 200 miles outside of Mexico City.

Concerns that BYD will send their EVs across U.S. borders have resulted in calls from lawmakers that Biden needs to take additional steps against Chinese automakers including imposing new tariffs on Chinese-made vehicles.

Chinese automaker BYD sold three million electric vehicles last year, while the U.S. sold only 1.2 percent hybrid and EV cars out of 281 million registered in 2023

Chinese automaker BYD sold three million electric vehicles last year, while the U.S. sold only 1.2 percent hybrid and EV cars out of 281 million registered in 2023

China is ‘flooding foreign markets with their autos,’ Lael Brainard, who heads the president’s National Economic Council, told the New York Times.

‘Many of those vehicles can connect on a continuous basis with our infrastructure potentially, with the drivers’ smartphones, with nearby cars. So they’re collecting a tremendous amount of information,’ Brainard said.

President Joe Biden warned the Chinese-made EVs could pose a national security risk to American drivers

President Joe Biden warned the Chinese-made EVs could pose a national security risk to American drivers

In 2023, BYD sold three million electric vehicles globally, while out of 281 million cars registered last year in the U.S., only 1.2 percent were electric or hybrid vehicles.

BYD overtook Tesla as the top-selling EV manufacturer and is moving to reach additional markets including Mexico and the Middle East. Still, BYD claims it has no intention of breaching the U.S. market.

‘We’re not planning to come to the US,’ Stella Li, executive vice president of BYD and CEO of BYD Americas, told Yahoo Finance.

‘We’re not even considering any northern state [in Mexico],’ Li told the outlet, adding: ‘We are targeting the local market. That is the BYD strategy.’

She cited pushback from lawmakers and the slowing rate of EV growth, saying: ‘It’s an interesting market, but it is very complicated.’

Chinese electric vehicles sell for far less than those in the U.S., with prices as low as $11,000

Chinese electric vehicles sell for far less than those in the U.S., with prices as low as $11,000

However, Chinese EVs’ lower price tag might still entice Americans to purchase the vehicles, with some of the smaller cars selling for as low as $11,000 each while the average price of an electric vehicle in the U.S. selling for $72,000.

The White House’s investigation into the national security risk Chinese carmakers pose to Americans comes after experts warned that Biden’s green energy plan could allow Chinese firms to ‘extend their global monopoly’ and ‘dominate’ the US market.

The green energy plan offers companies tax credits based on their production output but raised concerns that Chinese firms could access it.

‘The bottom line is that if you take markets like electric vehicle (EV) batteries, or solar cells, where China already has a dominant global position, and you allow its firms to own facilities in the US and access the US taxpayer, you’re allowing them to extend their global monopoly,’ Jeff Ferry, chief economist at the non-profit Coalition for a Prosperous America told Dailymail.com last week.

Biden appeared to adhere to these concerns when he announced the investigation into China branching into the U.S. EV market.

The Chinese spy balloon entered U.S. territory last year and traversed the U.S. before it was shot down of the coast of South Carolina

The Chinese spy balloon entered U.S. territory last year and traversed the U.S. before it was shot down of the coast of South Carolina

‘China is determined to dominate the future of the auto market, including by using unfair practices,’ Biden said.

‘China’s policies could flood our market with its vehicles, posing risks to our national security.’

He added: ‘I’m not going to let that happen on my watch.’

Former President Donald Trump imposed similar bans on Chinese companies in 2020, extending his executive order to prevent U.S. companies from buying telecommunication equipment from the PRC.

Trump deemed foreign-made telecommunication equipment to be a security risk, and appeared to specifically target the China-based company Huawei, claiming the local government could force it to install software in the equipment that could spy on Americans.

Meanwhile, Biden’s stance on Chinese EVs appears to mirror the Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation’s warnings that Chinese-manufactured drones could likewise pose a security risk by harnessing and exploiting data used by customers.

This was further exemplified by the appearance of the Chinese spy balloon that traversed the U.S. last year before being shot down off the coast of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The FBI said: ‘The use of Chinese-manufactured UAS [Unmanned Aircraft Systems] in critical infrastructure operations risks exposing sensitive information to PRC authorities, jeopardizing U.S. national security, economic security, and public health and safety,’



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