Electric Cars Going Out of Style? Not in China

Discussion in 'China' started by huaxia rox, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. huaxia rox

    huaxia rox Senior Member Senior Member

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    Electric Cars Going Out of Style? Not in China - China Real Time Report - WSJ

    What is China seeing in electric vehicles that the rest of the world is missing?

    Chinese car companies are behaving like they really know something. If history is any guide, the answer could reside with Xi Jinping and a future master plan for cars and energy in China.

    This week, Geely Automobile, Dongfeng Motors and other Chinese automotive firms are bidding to take over Fisker, maker of the Karma premium electric sedan. And Buffett-owned BYD plans to launch the Denza — a brand new electric car developed in a joint venture with Daimler – later this year.

    China’s Wanxiang Group received U.S. government approval just last month to purchase A123 Systems AONEQ +32.14% for $256 million. Before bankruptcy, A123 Systems had been America’s most advanced developer of batteries for electric cars and a recipient of $133 million in grants from the federal government.

    “The future is bright for A123,” Pin Ni, president of Wanxiang America Corp., said last month. “It is a company with exceptional talent and potential.”

    China’s relentless pursuit of electric cars looks curious because it comes at a time when confidence in electric cars in the U.S. and elsewhere appears to be hitting new lows.

    Electric vehicle sales remain a mere drop in the automotive sales ocean. For all the news headlines they generate, electrics still account for a tiny fraction of one percent of cars bought each year. Private buyers just are not convinced yet.

    Take for example the Leaf, Nissan’s highly touted all-electric car. Despite aggressive marketing, the Leaf managed to win over just 9,819 customers in 2012 – less than half of the annual sales target. “It was a disappointment for us,” said Carlos Ghosn, Nissan’s respected CEO.

    Electrics got another black eye this month when a New York Times test-drive of the highly acclaimed Tesla Model S resulted into the car having to be towed to a nearby station after it lost power.

    Holding back sales are two stubborn shortcomings:

    First, batteries can add up to $10,000 to the cost of a conventional sedan. Case in point: The gasoline-powered Chevrolet Cruze outsells the electric–powered Chevrolet Volt by 10 to 1 even though they are built on the same basic platform.

    Second is range anxiety. If you get an edgy feeling when your mobile phone battery flashes low, imagine running out of juice on a cold winter day on a highway between cities, as happened with the Tesla.

    So, how to explain China’s accelerated pursuit of electric vehicle technology? Companies like Geely, BYD and Wanxiang are essentially betting that Beijing will follow through on its promise to have five million electric vehicles on Chinese roads by 2020.

    Officials in the capital have a strong desire to avoid American-like addiction to oil from volatile regions like the Middle East. And Chinese citizens are growing increasingly irate as sections of the country get blanketed with hazardous air pollution.

    To move beyond oil into electrics, look for Xi’s lieutenants to start with buses, taxis and government fleets — vehicles that tend to have fixed routes that can be served easily by a set of local charging stations. Cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen can ramp up demand for electrics with a single stroke of the pen because they directly own vehicle fleets that number in the tens of thousands.

    More pieces of the puzzle start to come together when you realize that the Shanghai Auto Industry Corporation (which is owned by the city of Shanghai) formed a joint venture in 2009 with now Chinese-owned A123 Systems. This brings the market, the battery maker and the vehicle producer into a tight circle around Shanghai.

    For most countries in the world, gasoline engines prevail over electrics because of their superior range and affordability. The market has the final word.

    But China is different. The world’s second-largest economy can go much further to induce electric vehicle growth with generous rebates (electric vehicle buyers in Beijing now qualify for a $9,600 subsidy), rapid installation of charging stations in key cities and, most powerful of all, direct purchase mandates.

    As the Chinese like to say about business in the People’s Republic: “Look at the mayor, not the market.”
     
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  3. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    I would guess drivers in China do not commute or travel the distances that American drivers do.
     
  4. satish007

    satish007 Senior Member Senior Member

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    not at all, Chinese usually live and work in same city.
    many of my American friends live in a state and work in another state, and if they want to buy something, he may go to another city.
    how about you @cinoti, which city you live in America or Canada.
     
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  5. W.G.Ewald

    W.G.Ewald Defence Professionals/ DFI member of 2 Defence Professionals

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    The Electric Car Is an Abomination | RealClearPolitics

    The article discusses the Tesla.
     
  6. huaxia rox

    huaxia rox Senior Member Senior Member

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    1 if Electric cars doesnt make sense you can probably say all the clean energy like solar power or wind power doesnt make sense......the core problem is the price of production and the price you use to maintain it working.....at this stage if the gov is helping is important.....

    2 technically i dont know too much about what the article says but i know if in a big city where air pollution is mainly due to immition of waste of fossil fuels from cars largely replacing the cars with electronic ones surely can reduce the pollution......

    A. where ever the power plant is it should be far away from major cities....so to pollute some area where population density is much lower is surely not ideal but much better......

    B. we dont know if the power plant is using fossil fuels.....just like in prc many efforts have been put to build water power nuclear power wind power solar power plants......so its a must for a traditional car to creat air pollution no matter which standard of gas its using but its not a must for a power planet to produce much air pollution like some coal fired power plants......

    3 there are always alternative views of seeing every thing....just like some people just dont believe americans have landed on the moon and they can present some evidence.......the problem is its a mordem world now......mainstream normally is right......and to go green is a mainstream i guess.....
     
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