- When I moved to Suzhou, China I was
surprised to see the number of cars on the city’s roadways and the
number of electric motorcycles. The electric powered motorcycles are
manufactured in China and the price of purchasing them is being
subsidized by the Chinese Government. The electric bikes are relatively
inexpensive and they range anywhere from two thousand RMB ($321.54 USD)
to four thousand RMB ($643.00 USD). People can simply remove the
battery from the bike and plug it into a wall socket in order to
recharge the battery.
- The capitol city of Beijing in China is facing a serious health
crisis due to the amount of smog in the air. The smog is being caused
by a growing number of industries doing business in Beijing and the
growing number of cars on the city roadways. Many people in Beijing
ware a surgical mask to prevent breathing in the air pollutants.
- China, however, is trying to combat the growing problem.
- In April of 2013 I visited the Shanghai motor show in Shanghai,
China and I was impressed by the number of electric cars on display
there. One car in particular that caught my eye was the SP:01. The car
was manufactured in the U.S. and is being displayed as the fastest
electric care ever built. The car has a top speed of 155mph and manages
0-62mph in just 3.7 seconds. The car was built by Detroit Electric and
the company claims to have produced the first electric car in Detroit
back in 1907.
- Detroit Electric chose to reveal its state of the art machine
in Shanghai for a very good reason. China is pushing and investing
broadly in electric cars with the hope of becoming the world’s leading
electric car manufacturer. With the rising air pollution in China and
the potential health issues it may cause. The Chinese Government is
looking to electric cars as a way of reducing the air pollution.
- China’s goal is to put over 5 million electric cars on its
roads by 2020 that will cut auto emissions down significantly. They are
also investing in technology to curb the industrial pollution that is
- Electric car manufacturers from all sectors of the globe are scrambling to get in on China’s clean energy initiative.
- Sixteen of the 20 most polluted cities in the world are said to
be in China. It is an embarrassment for the Chinese government and for
those living in those cities. The electric car industries see China as a
ripe market for auto companies to thrive.
- This year, the air in the Chinese capital reached 40 times the
safety limit. The sheer number of cars and the poor quality of fossil
fuels are significantly contributing to China’s growing concern for its
future health and air safety.
- The Shanghai motor show also unveiled an electric Porsche, a
VW, and a Renault. Many other manufacturers are also choosing China to
unveil their latest electric or hybrid models.
- The Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid has a dual-electric gas engine;
the first Porsche of its kind. Another company formally known as Rover
showed off its electric auto for the Chinese market. This particular
electric auto maker is now owned by China’s auto giant SAIC.
- Cars produced by GM and Ford have always been a status symbol
for the Chinese and the American auto makers have been making record
sales in China.
- Electric auto makers however are trying to take advantage of
China’s growing wealth and to continue to feed on China’s auto frenzy.
- Globally, the electric car revolution has been a dismal failure
due to unattractive car models and the high cost of owning one. China,
however, is pledging its support to produce electric cars for the mass
- The Beijing Electric Car Company is a part-state owned car
manufacturer. Their site is vast; a massive factory surrounded by car
parks full of new cars, all electric. The E150-EV is the first
mass-produced Chinese-made electric car. None of the cars have yet been
sold though due mostly to their price range. The Chinese Government is
in the process of subsidizing the cost of the vehicles for the average
- The Beijing Government has been supporting the electric car industry by encouraging growth in research and development.
- There are approximately 1000 electric cars on the roads in Beijing not an encouraging number though.
- Growth of the electric car industry in China can only come
about through Government incentives and monetary subsidies. That will
most likely push the price of the electric cars down to an affordable
price range for the Chinese auto buyers. The more electric cars that
are sold in China will eventually result in lower prices as well.
- In the near future China may very well be the leading producer
of electric cars. The impact that will have on the American auto makers
- It will certainly become more difficult for the American auto
industries to compete in China against a state subsidized auto
manufacturer. The production of electric cars however is a step in the
right direction for the environment as a whole not just in China but
Thomas F O’Neill