While the case of the new European duties on imports of 'made in China' electric cars holds court , there is a Chinese full-electric car that is arriving on the Old Continent without worrying about additional and punitive tariffs from Brussels.

It is the Leapmotor T03, a compact battery-powered car in production at the Stellantis plant in Tychy, Poland, where Leapmotor International, a joint venture born of the alliance between the Asian manufacturer and the Italo-French group, has just churned out the first examples of the small zero-emission car.

Arriving in September

Reporting the news is the British news agency Reuters, which quotes the management of the eastern manufacturer and specifies that the Polish plant will also see the light of day for the European units of  A12 (project name), Leapmotor's future SUV for Europe.

Motore Leap T03

Three-quarter right rear Leapmotor T03

Motore Leap T03

Interior of the Leapmotor T03

With regard to timing, the first and second vehicles will enter the mass production phase next September and early 2025 respectively. Turning instead to the cost of production in Poland, the English news agency speaks of around €400-€500 per car, compared to €1,000 in Italy: this is why the choice of the two companies has fallen on that region.

Who pays and who doesn't

At the moment, however, there is a lack of official confirmation from Stellantis, which had signed the agreement with Leapmotor in October 2023 to acquire 21.2% of its shares at a price of €1.5 billion. Last May, on the other hand, saw the official birth of the Leapmotor International joint venture, responsible for building vehicles in Europe and importing the C10, another SUV (both electric and plug-in hybrid) from Leapmotor that will arrive in the Old Continent from China.

This being the case, the 100% battery-powered C10 will be forced to pay the new taxes imposed by the European Commission, amounting for Leapmotor to 21% of costs, to be added to the current 10%. The T03 citycar, on the other hand, would be immune, being a 'made in the EU' product.