Anyone like Electric Vehicles? Anyone like millions of electric cars? Oh, no….too many questions. Well, that is how it feels in the last couple years based on multitude of announcements from many car companies around the globe. China has been especially focused on the technology and electric cars specifically. Between 2009 and 2011 there have been many announcements from manufacturers that drove announcements to support also China's government plans for rapid growth in the direction of clean vehicles.
Here are several of them
From the Guardian
China is aiming to put more than a million electric vehicles onto the road each year by 2015, according to the state-run People's Daily. It claims that new plans for the auto industry are about to be published and will make "new energy" – electric and hybrid electric – vehicles a national priority.
From the New York Times:
TIANJIN, China — Chinese leaders have adopted a plan aimed at turning the country into one of the leading producers of hybrid and all-electric vehicles within three years, and making it the world leader in electric cars and buses after that.
From Wall Street Journal
SHENZHEN, China — It would seem like a lousy time to get into the car business, especially if you're a little-known company in the developing world. No start-up has grown into a major auto maker in at least half a century.
Wang Chuanfu, the founder and chairman of BYD Co., 1211.HK -0.65%a Chinese battery and car maker, thinks he's got a shot.
|And here you can find a special report on Electric Vehicle Charging Stations — please see at this link|
|One of the Key Players in the Electric Car manufacturing push in China is BYD — Link to their Web site|
So these were the big plans — reading through the articles above you can see all sort of big plans — build and sell up to 500K electric cars per year in China by 2015
Subsequently ramp up to 5M vehicles per year by 2020!!! So very ambitious plans no doubt.
The reality today is VERY DIFFERENT — BYD has apparently sold only 300 taxis and 200 electric busses in Shenzhen. So WHY is that?
The answer is actually closer to being simple than you think. All in all electric cars are VERY expensive. According to some estimates BYD's vehicles will have to drop 40% in price before they become a real alternative to fuel powered vehicles….And then there are many other hurdles like life of batteries' sizes, weight and reliability…
So all in all this has been a bit of a PR disaster since the promise of electric vehicles, green and energy use reductions, were made so public and garnererd so much attention that rebuffing now will be a problem by itsel
In conclusion — is the idea still valid? YES (resounding)!!! The big question is - when will these costs etc go down so we can all buy an electric car and be NICE!