Thursday, June 10, 2010

Beijing's Promotion of EVs: Global, not Local

Yang Jian, Managing Editor of Automotive News China, has a great commentary today entitled "Beijing's real goal in promoting electric vehicles" (free registration required to read -- and it's worth the trouble!).

Yang says:
The central government's real goal is to help key domestic automakers leapfrog their foreign competitors in the race to develop advanced powertrains.
In other words, this is not about getting Chinese consumers into electric vehicles. It's about pushing Chinese automakers -- both private and SOE -- to become global players in the rush to develop the newest green technologies.

The cities chosen for the electric vehicle subsidy pilot (as I referenced here recently) were chosen because their local automakers were deemed by the central government to be closest to having marketable electric or hybrid cars. The whole point of the subsidies is to give local automakers in these cities (Shanghai, Changchun, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Hefei) enough test subjects to carry out credible testing of their technologies.

I agree 100 percent with Yang Jian's views. China's goal with new energy vehicle technology is not about getting Chinese consumers into EVs; it's about getting people all over the world into Chinese EVs.