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China auto show ambitions to become leader in electric car

Auto News - Published on Wed, 25 Apr 2018

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Economic Times reported that the biggest global auto show of the year showcases China's ambitions to become a leader in electric cars and the industry's multibillion dollar scramble to roll out models that appeal to price-conscious but demanding Chinese drivers.

Auto China 2018, which opens this week, follows Beijing's decision to allow full foreign ownership of Chinese automakers in a move to make the industry more flexible as it promotes electrics.

The ruling Communist Party has transformed China into the biggest market for electrics with billions of dollars in subsidies to producers and buyers. Now, Beijing is winding down that support and shifting the financial burden to automakers with sales quotas that push them to develop models Chinese drivers want to buy.

That is reflected in the auto show lineup: Global and Chinese brands including General Motors Co, Volkswagen AG and Nissan Motor Co. plan to display dozens of electrics and hybrids, from luxurious SUVs to compacts priced as low as 152,000 yuan (USD 24,000).

Communist leaders see electric cars as both a way to clean up smog-choked cities and a key ingredient in plans to transform China into a global competitor in an array of technology fields from robotics to solar power to biotech.

Mr Christopher Robinson, who follows the industry for Lux Research said that "Just in the last two or three years, China rose from being a very small player in the global EV market to be nearly 50 percent of sales in 2017."

Mr Robinson said that "It attracted nearly every automaker in the world."

Starting in 2019, automakers will be required to earn credits by selling electrics or else buy them from competitors. More stringent fuel efficiency standards will require a big share of each brand's sales to be non-gasoline models.

Global automakers say electrics should account for 35 to over 50 percent of their China sales by 2025.

Mr Roland Krueger, chairman of Infiniti Motor Co, Nissan's luxury brand said that "There is huge potential for vehicle electrification here."

Chinese sales of electrics and gasoline-electric hybrids rose 154 percent in the first quarter over a year earlier to 143,000 units, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. That compares with sales of just under 200,000 for all of last year in the United States, the No. 2 market.

GM plans to display five all-electric vehicles including a concept Buick SUV it says can travel 600 kilometers (375 miles) on one charge, plus a hybrid Cadillac XT5 28E.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Wed, 25 Apr 2018
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