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.
In response to recent reports about the Tesla Semi electric truck prototype having been spotted in Arkansas, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has commented that the truck was driven “across the country alone.”
In one of the noteworthy unveiling at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, a new commercial electric cargo scooter was introduced by Gaius Auto.
The electric line-up of Swedish group Volvo Trucks has got a new addition, with the company having recently unveiled an all-electric garbage truck called the ‘Volvo FE Electric.’
Commercial vehicle manufacturer Winnebago, which is largely known for its motorhomes, has announced the launch of a new all-electric RV platform.
According to a recent Reuters report, German automaker Volkswagen AG (VW) is in talks with China-based Didi Chuxing for a possible joint venture.
With the 2019 Chevy Volt PHEV scheduled for availability this fall, General Motors (GM) has recently announced an upgrade to the vehicle, in order to bring some new features on board.