Chinese automaker BYD (Build Your Dreams) has denied accusations that the company is deliberately letting tens of thousands of new cars rot in the wild to collect additional subsidies. Media such as the German news magazine Focus and car magazine top gear messages about alleged practices. But BYD denies the site’s allegations: “It’s fake news.”
Video footage allegedly originating in China shows huge parking lots with many thousands of almost-new electric cars from the relatively young BYD brand, which has also been on sale in the Netherlands since last year. Vehicles are apparently rotting away in the parking lots. There are tens of thousands of BYD e3s in one of the areas shown alone. Other images also show cars from other Chinese manufacturers, such as the Geely Kandi K10 EV and Neta V. These cars are parked in one of the districts of Hangzhou, capital of Zhejiang Province, in eastern China.
According to the well-known YouTube channel Serpentza (with more than 1.3 million subscribers), the footage of the drone video was taken in China. In the nearly ten-minute video, the automaker explains that most parked vehicles have less than 50 kilometers on them. The notable thing is that all electric cars have a number plate. This would mean that they are registered with the government as sold. So it wouldn’t be factory stock waiting to be delivered to buyers. The fact that the chairs are covered with plastic wrap would indicate that they really don’t have an owner.
Subsidy for car sales
According to the German opinion magazine Focus Chinese automakers receive subsidies based on their car sales figures. Therefore, they would like to manipulate sales statistics with this kind of practice. Vehicles are registered as sold, but they are actually fake sales that count in sales statistics.
In 2030, cars powered by fossil fuels will no longer be sold (video):
Later, the ‘sold’ vehicles end up without owners in the huge parking lots, where they are exposed to the elements of nature. The video footage shows, for example, how the paintwork is already completely opaque due to dust and dirt and blades of grass rising along the tires.
If true, the problem of fields with tens of thousands of rotting cars does not seem to be an easy one to solve. Because as long as money flows, so will production. These practices have a huge impact on people and the climate. Because electric car batteries require rare materials, such as lithium, which are often mined in precarious conditions by miners.
An interesting detail is that BYD likes to present itself as an automaker that helps fight climate change. BYD is the world’s largest electric vehicle maker and has sales targets that BYD says could reduce the global temperature by one degree. BYD Europe spokesman Mike Belinfante tells this site that the allegations that have been circulating the internet in recent days are incorrect. “BYD has a hard time arming itself against this type of video. All they can say is, ‘It’s just not true.’” Belinfante: According to BYD, the images are fake. They also look a little weird.”
The creator of the video documentary on YouTube is Winston Frederick Sterzel. He is a South African vlogger who lived in China for many years but now lives in California. His wife is of Chinese descent. Sterzel is not indisputable. He is regularly accused on social media of looking at Chinese culture from a Western perspective and mainly of trying to present a negative image of China to his viewers. On the other hand, Sterzel has many fans who appreciate how he gives an insightful insight into Chinese life.
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