Biden pushes for US$174b as China takes R&D crown

President Joe Biden pointed out that the United States ranks only eighth in research and development expenditure while China is first as he made a case for spending US$174 billion (HK$1.35 trillion) to transform America’s automotive industry, during a visit to a Ford Motor plant in Michigan.

While urging automakers not to build zero-emission vehicles abroad for US consumers, he underlined his case by saying American automakers are continuing to fall further behind China in sales.

Biden’s plea for an electric vehicle revolution came as BYD chairman Wang Chuanfu announced the EV carmaker is entering the European market, starting with Norway, as he delivered the company’s millionth electric vehicle to Mario Ho Yau-Kwan, the son of late tycoon Stanley Ho Hung-sun, yesterday.

Meanwhile in China, Tesla’s sales in April were 11,949 units compared to the all-time high in March of 34,714 units – reflecting a sharp drop of 65 percent for the American automaker, data from the China Automotive Information Net showed.

This came as Tesla said it would work with authorities to investigate a car accident in China that police claimed had caused the death of a police officer and injured another. News of accidents involving Tesla cars in China have gone viral on social media in recent weeks after an unhappy customer made headlines by clambering atop a Tesla at the Shanghai auto show to protest at the company’s handling of her complaints.

China has been the Tesla’s second-biggest market, accounting for about 30 percent of its sales.

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