China’s dream of electric car leadership elusive Yahoo News

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China’s dream of electric car elusive

BEIJING (AP) — leaders are finding it’s a lot to create a world-beating electric car than they hoped.

In they announced bold to cash in on demand for clean by making China a global in electric car manufacturing. They billions of dollars for research and for annual sales of 500,000 by 2015.

Today, Beijing is back its ambitions, chastened by hurdles and lack of buyer Developers have yet to achieve and will be lucky to sell cars this year, taxis. The government has hedged its by broadening the industry’s official to include cleaner gasoline

The government has repeatedly changed because the technology isn’t quite as fast as people had said Joe Hinrichs, Ford Co.’s president for Asia, at week’s Beijing auto

The government has yet to lower sales that ramp up to 5 million a year by 2020. But officials Premier Wen Jiabao started last year that was slow and developers need to quality instead of rushing to market.

About 13,000 and other alternative energy are being tested in 25 cities, but is still small despite subsidies, the deputy director of the of Science and Technology’s electric bureau, Zhen Zijian, in March, according to the business Caixin.

China’s most advanced BYD Co. in which American investor Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway owns a 10 percent stake, its electric e6 sedan can travel 300 (190 miles) on a charge, to Western models.

BYD has sold 300 and 200 electric buses used in the city of Shenzhen, a center for and technology near Hong according to Henry Li, general of its export division. BYD has invested in research and has thousands of engineers on battery and motor technology.

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BYD employees wait for next to BYD new cars, at the Beijing Automotive Exhibi

We think our EV vehicle) platform is one of the most in the world, and our capability for mass is quite high, Li said.

But as for the of the industry, there are not many with really reliable or products, he said.

Chinese saw electric cars as a way to curb for imported oil, which regard as a strategic danger, and to transform China from a factory into a creator of technology.

China has run up against the same obstacles as anyone else, Michael Dunne, president of Co. Ltd. a Hong Kong-based researcher.

They said: on, maybe we shouldn’t marry to electrics just yet. look at the alternatives. Maybe we to take an incremental approach, like everyone else, said.

Wary consumers been put off by news reports of in Chinese-made cars catching A lack of charging stations is range anxiety — fears a car run out of power, leaving the driver

Under the Communist Party’s five-year development plan for economy, issued in 2011, the has released guidelines for other but not for alternative vehicles — a possible officials have gone to the drawing board.

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In this Monday April 23, photo, a BYD employee checks a of a charging station for BYD’s e

were encouraged last by a Cabinet statement that support for electric vehicles. But it called for work on developing hybrids and energy-saving internal engines.

The momentum has been slowed said John Zeng, of Asian forecasting for LMC Automotive, a firm.

They don’t the EV or hybrid can be the only way for China to its future sustainable mobility, said. They think need multiple initiatives to that target.

Plus, and diesel technologies are advancing, consumers with the promise of operating costs.

U.S. of electric cars have been disappointing. After a on the market, electric cars make up less than 1 of total U.S. sales. Motors Co. fell short of its of selling 10,000 Chevrolet electric cars in 2011, up with sales just 7,500.

Nissan sold Leaf electric cars, short of its goal of 10,000.

As in the lack of a recharging infrastructure and about the range of electric are big barriers for consumers. Cost is issue. The Chevrolet Volt, for costs nearly $8,000 than the similarly sized Chevrolet Cruze.

Auto site Edmunds.com estimates it take a Volt owner six of gas savings to pay off that premium.

The Chinese government launched into electric, fuel and other alternative power in 2001. It followed in 2004 a plan to create a competitive car and promised financial support to

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A charging for electric vehicles is displayed with the Great Wall C20 EV, an

Automakers responded to Beijing’s General Motors Co. announced in 2007 for a $250 million fuel research center in Germany’s Daimler AG teamed up BYD to create an electric car joint dubbed Denza.

They a display version of its first this week at the Beijing show.

China’s initiative some in the United States and to worry they might behind in a key technology. An assistant energy secretary, David visited Beijing in 2009 and China had the potential to be ahead if the States failed to invest in

Beijing’s 2009 plan for world-class electric cars by year, followed by trucks and To encourage buyers, the government paying buyers rebates of up to yuan ($8,800) per car the following in five cities including

But Wen, China’s top economic expressed frustration at the slow of development in an article published July.

We are no match for developed countries in Wen wrote in Qiushi, the ruling main theoretical journal.

only just begun in car development, the premier wrote. Wen Chinese leaders shared in the We have not set clear enough of which way to go.


Beijing strained with the United States and trading partners by rolling out limiting access to its auto unless foreign developers technology to Chinese partners.

has said it formed its venture BYD not due to official pressure but because it to create a low-cost brand for Daimler said their due to go on sale next year, have a range of 200-250 (125-155 miles) on one charge.

manufacturers such as Nissan Co. maker of the electric Leaf, and Motors Co. have chosen to pay the taxes required to import and hybrid vehicles rather disclose expensive know-how to partners that might rivals.

GM is taking orders for its Volt in China but expects sales due to a relatively high of 498,000 yuan ($79,000).

It’s expensive in China at the because of import duties, and we qualify for incentives, said Wale, president of GM China. But we think it’s important we demonstrate its capabilities here in

Chinese producers have a series of display models of and hybrid cars, some tiny solar panels or turbines for recharging, though say they are not ready for mass-market

LMC Automotive’s Zeng said aside from BYD, has spent heavily on development, have done only the required to qualify for research

I think it’s more to a PR bubble or fight for government he said.

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