Can the U.S. catch up to China in the electric vehicle race?

Even though the vast majority of dominant tech companies reside in the United States, in the auto sector most U.S. companies are still selling the old internal combustion engine technology. Fortunately, Tesla is changing things. Detroit's automakers are starting to introduce electric cars. 

Above: A look at a Tesla Model 3 in China (Twitter: Tesla Greater China)

Tesla is leading the way and others are beginning to follow along. One recent example is Ford's Mustang Mach-E. And GM has its Bolt EV along with plans for a new electric Hummer. That said, U.S. car buyers haven't accelerated their adoption of electric cars anywhere near what's currently happening in China.

According to CNBC, "The global electric vehicle market is heating up, and China wants to dominate. It has invested at least $60 billion to support the EV industry and it’s pushing an ambitious plan to transition to all-electric... [meanwhile] Tesla entered the Chinese market in 2019 and has seen rapid growth."

Above: A look at China's emphasis on electric cars (YouTube: CNBC)

"China sold roughly 1 million more EVs than the U.S. in 2020, according to EV Volumes. But there are signs that U.S. is getting more serious about going electric. President Joe Biden announced a goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 and [plans to make] investments in green infrastructure," reports CNBC.

Even industry leader, Tesla, seems to be placing its biggest bet on future electrification efforts underway in China. With its recent Model Y push at the company's Shanghai Gigafactory, Tesla has already pulled ahead of local Chinese rivals NIO and Xpeng in the first few months of 2021.

Granted, Biden has some big plans in place for vehicle electrification. But will these plans push the U.S. ahead of China when it comes to clean transport? Without a doubt, Tesla has high hopes for the U.S. too. But recently CEO Elon Musk explained in an interview (via CGTN), "China, I think in the long term, will be our biggest market. Both where we make the most number of vehicles and where we have the most number [of] customers."