Chinese electric vehicles pose 'very real threat' to UK drivers as MP warns of security threats

Chinese electric vehicles pose 'very real threat' to UK drivers as MP warns of security threats

WATCH: Martin Daubney asks 'what is the point in electric cars?'

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 20/04/2024

- 10:00

Updated: 21/04/2024

- 02:55

Chinese electric cars already face harsh tariffs in Europe

The UK could launch an investigation into whether Chinese-made electric vehicles are allegedly being used to spy on the British public.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden has claimed that China could be using electric vehicles as a so-called "spook device" to obtain information.

Speaking at an event earlier this week, he revealed that officials from the National Cyber Security Centre and GCHQ were looking into allegations surrounding EVs.

The investigation was similar to that announced in the United States with President Biden speculating whether the vehicles could be used as listening devices feeding information back to Chinese spies.

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Electric car charging

Fears have been raised about Chinese-made EVs


Now as the UK looks to impose sanctions on Chinese EVs coming in, the warning of potential clandestine listening devices in the vehicles is beyond worrying, Conservative MP Tim Loughton, warned.

The MP for East Worthing and Shoreham added: "It is good to see the Government waking up at last to the very real threat that China poses to security and the daily lives of everyday people.

“Chinese-made cars have effectively become mobile computers able to connect to the internet, transfer data to Beijing or be operated by an outside body.

“We all need to be wise to this and stop becoming Beijing junkies for cheap technology," MailOnline reported.

The UK, along with Europe, has remained vigilant about the number of Chinese-made electric vehicles to enter the market in recent months.

Recent research shows that one in every five EVs in Europe was made in China, showing the established power of China already.

Last month, Transport Secretary Mark Harper warned that if China tried to undercut competition for electric vehicles in the UK by making prices too low, he would take action.

Harper warned that the UK could be pushed to put tariffs on Chinese imports of electric vehicles if they disrupt the market too much by underpinning the price point.

Chinese EVs are currently some of the cheapest options for drivers in the UK with the BYD Seagull expected to sell for as low as £8,000, nearly half the price of some UK brands.

The Seagull is set to land in UK stores this year and has already drawn in a crowd, particularly as the UK looks to hone in on its net zero efforts.

The Chinese company - which stands for Build Your Dreams - sold 134,352 electric vehicles in March alone.

It made 291,730 total sales this year and more than three million vehicles last year, making it one of the top producers globally.


car manufacturing

Chinese-made cars account for one in five EVs in Europe


Last year the European Commission formally launched an anti-subsidy investigation into the imports of EVs from China. The investigation prompted the European Union to impose tariffs on Chinese imports.

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