Electric DreamsBYD Auto Brings Electric Cars to Israel …

20 Фев 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Electric DreamsBYD Auto Brings Electric Cars to Israel … отключены
BYD e6 Electric Cars

Electric Dreams—BYD Auto Brings Electric Cars to Israel

Earlier this spring this blog identified an upstart Chinese auto company called BYD Auto that is, despite is short operating history in the auto industry, introducing one of the most innovative automobile makes in the industry—a fully commercial electric car—ahead the likes of established auto giants like General Motors (and its flagship electric car make—the Chevy Volt ). It was reported earlier this month that BYD Auto will start selling its fully electric E6 and plug-in hybrid electric F6DM models in Israel in 2009 (ahead of the commercialization of GM’s Chevy Volt, which will only start being produced in 2010).

Israel is a logical market choice, given Israel’s new embrace of the electric car revolution and its plans to, through Project Better Place (a groundbreaking initiative led by former technology-entrepreneur Shai Agassi) and the aid of tax incentives. build a nation-wide electric car network by 2011. In simple terms, such an infrastructure consists of plug-in electric cars supported by advanced battery technology, a network of recharge stations and battery exchange stations, and a smart grid fed with renewable energy.

I was initially skeptical of the true sustainability proposition of hybrid and electric car innovations. In a previous post. I argued that disruptive technologies . by themselves, offer little by way of sustainability if not integrated into the improvement of a greater whole at the systems-level. Thus, it is not enough to push the sales of fuel efficient cars if such a marketing blitz adds more cars on the road and further encourages urban sprawl.

However, in that post, I did not discuss the potential for grid-tied plug-in electric vehicles (whether fully electric or of the hybrid sort) to transform our fossil fuel energy system into a renewable and cleaner one.

An Energy Crossroads

The green proposition of electric cars, especially the plug-in variety, is that by promoting the development of electricity generation and energy storage technology development (in the form of energy storage devices such as batteries), electric cars are not only reducing the need for gasoline, but also creates pull factors for the development of grid-connected renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy by creating new electricity demand and provide energy storage solutions to address the problems of the intermittent nature of solar and wind power. In essence, individual electric cars, each equipped with their batteries, apart from serving as energy storage devices for the use of the car, could serve as energy reservoirs for the grid system, and even feed (and sell) back electricity to the grid if the vehicle is not in use.

Here then is a truly disruptive system . arranging discrete disruptive technologies (electric cars, advanced battery systems, a network of batter recharge stations, an integrated electricity grid) into a cohesive whole.  The plug-in electric vehicle is symbolic of the energy crossroads between sustainable transportation and renewable grid power  A more detailed explanation on how this renewable energy transformation is enabled by electric cars can be found on here on Better Place’s website.

It was initially unclear if BYD’s entry to Israel would be in collaboration with or competing with Project Better Place. Given the inter-operability of Better Place’s network (website: “Cars outside the Better Place model can re-charge their batteries as “guest vehicles,” so long as the driver acquires an easily-installed converter.”), it would make sense for BYD cars to take advantage of such infrastructure. A separate report suggests, however, that BYD might be building a competing infrastructure with certain Israeli partners.

We shall see soon enough how this pan out.

BYD e6 Electric Cars

Ahead of this Israeli market entry, BYD plans to launch the sale of grid-independent (i.e. non-plugged in) hybrid electric vehicle, the F3DM, later this year .

Big Cars, More Tax

On the transportation policy front, most of the traffic measures put in place for the Beijing Olympics have, as expected, proved to be short-lived. But the Beijing authorities continue to show their commitment to mass transit, reassuring that fares for public transportation will continue to be maintained at their current low levels to encourage use.

Separately, the Ministry of Finance is relying on tax measures to influence the auto purchases of consumers. Beginning September 1, taxes on bigger cars will be raised while those on smaller ones will be reduced (see diagram right for details). While the stated purpose of the higher taxes is to decrease fuel consumption and pollution, a closer look at the history of taxes on cars in China suggests that this may be more a protectionist move rather than a green one.

The Geneva-based World Trade Organization, based ruled against China this past July on its previous tax measure of preferential tax rates for domestically produced cars violated international trade rules. The newly revised tax rates do not explicitly single out foreign cars over domestic cars, but it just so happens that the smaller cars are mostly dominated by local manufacturers while larger cars are imported. The Economist wryly observes:

China’s new tax is canny. It cuts fuel use, reduces imports, benefits local carmakers and may help to improve air quality. It also prevents any more pesky calls from Geneva.

BYD e6 Electric Cars
BYD e6 Electric Cars
BYD e6 Electric Cars
BYD e6 Electric Cars

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