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Chery Electric Cars


China’s car revolution

By Ryan Rutkowski

Freely is an Asia Times feature that allows writers to have their Please click here if you are in contributing.

With 17 of every people in China owning a car in compared with a global of 120 per 1,000 persons, the country is the second-largest auto market in the It is expected to exceed the United to become the largest auto by 2030. While this growth is great news for the industry, it is disastrous for the world’s populated country.

China is up against environmental resource

and an increasing dependence on foreign oil Africa, Russia, and the Middle The country is already the top emitter of dioxide and experiences widespread air in urban centers.

The good is that the Chinese government is not aware of the problems posed by the of fast-increasing numbers of cars on the but is also working to address the Many major urban are building efficient public and urban housing to incentivize to get out of cars, and China has maintained taxes on vehicle registration, licenses, and car sales to limit the on the road. Nonetheless, the exponential curve that represents passenger vehicle registrations to the fact these measures not be able to stop the Chinese

But there may be another means to China’s dependence on foreign reduce urban pollution, and Chinese auto companies competitive: alternative fuel In 2008, the Ministry of Science and mandated that 10% of Chinese will run on alternative fuels by and called for 10 billion yuan billion) in research subsidies the next three years for and development of alternative fuel

Last February, the Ministry of announced a new commitment to promote fuel vehicles in the country’s 13 cities — Beijing, Chongqing, Zhangchun, Dalian, Jinan, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Kunming, and Nanchang. The mandate for public services to begin alternative fuel vehicles in cities and provides subsidies for and purchasing of alternative fuel vehicles, including 50,000 per hybrid and 60,000 yuan per model produced by domestic car

While there are many alternative fuel cars considered (ethanol, natural hydrogen fuel cells, to name a few), electric are currently the most promising. are simply more efficient gasoline cars, and promise a of lower fuel costs, emissions, and lower production compared with most competitive alternative fuel

Nonetheless, there are some in developing electric car technology. the costs of building infrastructure, as recharge stations. According to Charges Up, a report by Mckinsey the country will need to 5 billion to 10 billion yuan by to build the necessary recharging

Second, there are concerns the safety, weight, and recharge of lithium-ion batteries. Indeed, a concern with electric is the amount of time it takes to a battery (even the most batteries take an hour to at best). Nevertheless, manufacturers of the generation of electric vehicles and have already found ways to address these

For example, Better Place, a US manufacturer, has developed a method of battery swap stations for trips in which drivers can replace a depleted battery a charged battery rather wait for it to recharge.

However, success in producing electric hinges on the ability of its automakers to a way to make electric vehicles at the price. The country has had a great of experience in manufacturing cheap vehicles, such as electric and tour vehicles, already in use throughout the country.

While the leading global in Japan, South Korea, the US and have made hybrid-electric and vehicles — such as the Prius and Chevy Volt cheaper and more efficient, are still just out of the price of the majority of consumers in the US, China, and in the developing world.

China’s with electric vehicles, mandates, and new consumer trends incentivized Chinese automakers to electric vehicles. Recently, one of leading domestic manufacturers, Automobile, announced the release of the the first of their new S series electric series. Chery was in Wuhu city, Anhui in 1997, and began specializing in cars for the domestic market.

The has 10 passenger car models, with its A-5 model selling for less US$15,000. Moreover, Chery is first automaker to sell abroad, with production in Russia, Iran, Malaysia, and and with plans to enter the US and markets in 2011. The S18 can travel 120-150 km/h and comes with a battery capable of up to 80% in a half hour.

Chery produces hybrid versions of its A5, A3, and A13

Shenzhen-based Build Your (BYD) was started in 1995 by Chuan-Fu to produce lithium-ion batteries, and has since moved the market for passenger cars. In the company entered the auto and its $14,000 F3 sedan is quickly the best-selling sedan in China. BYD’s background in lithium-ion and new found success in auto it was only a matter of time it developed an electric vehicle.

Chery Electric Cars

In BYD rolled out a new F3DM plug-in dual mode vehicle. vehicle sells for $21,900 below the Toyota Prius and the Volt to be released in 2010) and it to travel 100km on a single with the capability to shift to if the battery runs low (similar to the Volt).

Initially, BYD signed a to sell 50 cars to the Shenzhen government and is expected to hit the mass in China soon, with to enter the US and European markets in It has already reached a deal to this model in Israel in

Geely Automobile, China’s privately owned car firm, has the upcoming release of its EK-1 the first of its new EK series of fully-electric at the end of the year. Founded in Hangzhou in Geely sold 30,000 in China last year and has in Russia, Ukraine, and Indonesia. It has big for foreign export, hoping for 75% of sales in foreign markets and to production facilities in 15 countries by

Its new EK-1 promises to travel on a single charge, reaching a top of 104 km/h, and is capable of a full in five hours. Geely to follow up with the second EK-2 and the third generation within two years.

Indeed, all of major state-owned and joint-venture companies have announced to launch electric vehicle In 2007, Chongqing’s Chana released the first domestically and produced hybrid-electric model, the HEV model, in preparation for the 2008 Games, and will begin hybrid models in the third of 2009.

SAIC Motor will release a hybrid-electric car in and a fully-electric car in 2012. Dongfeng Corp began selling the Hybrid model in China in Beiqi Foton Motor is one of leading producers of hybrid-electric and established the country’s first auto design and manufacture in 2008. FAW group, China’s car manufacturer, plans to release cars by 2012

As Chinese domestic automakers innovative ways to produce electric cars to fulfill the of China’s domestic market, will be able to use this to expand internationally. A new generation of electric cars may help down the production cost of cars globally.

In doing so, cars may become the car of choice not in China, as the fastest growing car in the world, but also in the United the largest car market.

Ryan is a freelance contributor.

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