China may become 21st century automotive hub
With the ‘electrification’ revolution set to reshape the global auto industry, the government in China has notable efforts underway to ensure than the country establishes itself as the world’s 21st century automotive hub, similar to Detroit (US) in the 20th century.
Since automakers and governments across the world are making significant plans for the production of electric vehicles (EVs) and their widespread adoption by consumers, China’s sheer size (in terms of population) and accumulating wealth will apparently enable the country to lead the EV revolution.
In 2017, vehicles sales in China surpassed the US vehicle sales by a substantial 68%. With the worldwide sales of electric-only cars having crossed the ‘1 million’ mark for the first time, more than 50% of these sales were attributable to China. The country is now aiming at sales of 7 million EVs by 2025.
China is particularly recording a big surge in sales in the broader category of NEVs -- New Energy Vehicles -- which include plug-in hybrids, along with electric-only vehicles. While the major Chinese automakers include Geely and BYD, the local EV startup NIO is also positioning itself to take on US electric vehicle maker Tesla Motors.
The Chinese government plans to make vehicle emission rules and quotas for producing zero- or low-emission vehicles more stringent for automakers in 2019. Meanwhile, for consumers, the government spent nearly $1 billion on EV subsidies in 2017, but may eliminate the subsidies by 2020.
South America is still lagging behind in adoption of electric vehicles. Chinese companies are already approaching public transport authorities across the world to offer their electric and hybrid urban mobility solutions.
At the 2018 Quail Motorcycle Gathering in Carmel, California this week, Curtiss Motorcycles unveiled its powerful new dual motor Zeus electric motorcycle concept to the public for the first time.
Japanese automaker Honda has recently made its new electric car -- the 2018 Honda Clarity Electric -- available for purchase at its dealerships in California and Oregon.
In an earlier-this-week disclosure, the office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has confirmed that California-based tunneling startup The Boring Company -- owned by Elon Musk -- has won the bid for the Chicago-O’Hare high-speed tunnel project.
On Wednesday, German automaker Audi announced at its annual meeting that it plans to build 20 new electrified cars by the year 2025. The automaker also added that most of the planned electrified cars will be battery-powered vehicles.
According to a recent Autocar magazine report, German automaker Volkswagen’s R performance division is presently exploring the possibility of producing performance-centric electric vehicles (EVs) in the future.