Electric Cars Downplayed at This Year’s Shanghai Auto Show PluginCars com

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Electric Cars Downplayed at Year s Shanghai Auto

By Alysha Webb · 22, 2013

It was not easy to find cars among all the internal vehicles at the 2013 Shanghai

I visited the auto show in auto show a few weeks ago and was by what I found. It was as much internal combustion engine as it was about electric vehicles. The government is pushing electric and just about all of China’s are developing one or more new energy as they are called here.

But electric vehicle market the same barriers as the U.S. low consumer acceptance and immature and pricey technology.

So while Chinese automakers are electric vehicles, they to be doing so by, as the Chinese saying crossing the river by feeling for the Since some of the stones even laid yet, are incrementally working on EVs while developing fuel-saving technologies for internal combustion engine And making cars that can buy now.

Sound familiar? A lot what automakers in other are doing, right? So maybe all angst about China over the electric vehicle is a bit premature.


The Chinese automakers aren’t thrilled about to put resources into developing for which there isn’t a the top executive at a major multinational told me. Of course, suppliers are the who stand to benefit from electric vehicle push. that exec and another, Tom president of Borg Warner told me that however big the EV turns out to be in China, and whatever the want to do, they will be for them.

Looking for Plugs

At the Shanghai NEV models dominated a few automakers’ and seemed to be a sideshow at others. But the show is huge. It covers than a dozen halls and are included in the show.

So I may have some new energy vehicle while walking the show Some automakers displayed in multiple locations. Dongfeng Co. for example, seemed to be in multiple

In one of its displays, there were few or no But, I found another display that was all NEVs.

it was hard to distinguish the new energy from the regular gas-powered at many stands. SAIC had a special section touting technology, and it also had new energy at its stand at the show. Same FAW.

Additionally, many automakers now have multiple and perhaps the NEVs were up among the different brands.

FAW electric vehicles

domestic automakers seem to be to NEVs to expand a small portfolio.

At the Brilliance Auto for example, it seemed like 80 percent of the models it was showing new energy vehicles. Brilliance is heavily on its partner BMW for alternative technology, and the two debuted a concept hybrid model of the long BMW 5-series sedan at the Shanghai While the model was developed in for the China market, BMW’s in alternative energy drivetrains was a contribution.

Chery Automobile ranked behind BYD and Toyotain the list of Chinese consumers most with battery electric according to a recent study by research firm Synovate. But was showing few new energy vehicles. it was showing off its models with variable transmission, which is a technology.

The new energy vehicle of BYD’s stand at the show was low-key. The automaker recently results of a test fleet of in Shenzhen showing that the of BYD’s batteries did not diminish the fleet racked up 2.77 kilometers (1.73 million BYD has been slow to prove the of its F3DM hybrid and e6 electric after much bragging it.

So perhaps it was wise not to make too big a about new energy vehicles at the show.

Fleets for Now

Actually, are where the electric vehicle will be in China, probably for the decade or longer. That be a bonanza for suppliers. And consumers can get comfortable with the technology. But visit to China has reinforced my that we aren’t going to see EVs over any significant market in China’s passenger car market for a long time.

And that predictions that will lead the way in electric technology and adoption are unlikely to true.

FAW electric vehicles
FAW electric vehicles

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