Chinese electric vehicle (EV) exports to Europe have shown robust growth, increasing by more than a fifth year-on-year from January to April.

On Tuesday, data from Schmidt Automotive Research revealed that 119,300 Chinese-made electric vehicles were registered in Europe, including the UK, during the first four months of this year. This figure represents a 23% increase compared to the same period last year and accounts for about one-fifth of the region's total EV imports.

Matthias Schmidt, the founder of Schmidt Automotive, noted that automakers continue to manufacture cars in China because it remains the most profitable way to produce electric vehicles.

Of the Chinese-made EVs registered in the first four months, Western and Japanese brands like Tesla, Volkswagen, and Honda accounted for 54%, while Chinese brands such as MG and BYD held the remaining market share.

Given the lower production costs in China, Western brands including Tesla and Renault have shifted their production bases to China, exporting the vehicles back to Europe. UBS analysts estimated last year that BYD's costs are about 25% lower than those of traditional car manufacturers.

The significance of China as a manufacturing hub and a lucrative market has led several automotive executives to warn against increasing global EV import tariffs on China. Concerns about dependence on the Chinese market are growing among Western automakers.

According to Global Times, the governor of Lower Saxony, Germany, expressed clear opposition to the EU imposing punitive tariffs on Chinese cars during his visit to China.