Sunday, April 5, 2009

Electric dreams

China could well be coming into its “gigantic” position of domination in the world arena of car-manufacturing industry. Who knows how this will impact everybody else? Not to mention an all-electric car? Manufacturers first, then fuel supply next; then what?


China’s car industry
Govt-backed plan to turn China into top maker of hybrids

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, a move that will make it the world leader in electric cars and buses.

The goal suggests United States’ Big Three car-makers, already struggling to stay alive, will face even stiffer foreign competition on the next field of automotive technology.

“China is well-positioned to lead in this,” said Mr David Tulauskas, director of China government policy at General Motors.

To some extent, China is making a virtue of a liability. It is behind the US, Japan and other countries in making gas-powered vehicles, but by skipping the current technology, China hopes to get a jump on the next.

China’s intention, in addition to creating a world-leading industry that will produce jobs and exports, is to reduce urban pollution and decrease its dependence on oil.

A recent report by consulting firm McKinsey and Company estimated that replacing a gasoline-powered car with a similar-size electric car in China would reduce greenhouse emissions by only 19 per cent. It would reduce urban pollution, however, by shifting the source of smog from car exhaust pipes to power plants, which are often located outside cities.

Beyond manufacturing, subsidies of up to US$8,800 ($13,300) are being offered to taxi fleets and local government agencies in 13 Chinese cities for each hybrid or all-electric vehicle they purchase. The state electricity grid has been ordered to set up electric car charging stations in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.

Government research subsidies for electric car designs are increasing rapidly. And an interagency panel is planning tax credits for consumers who buy alternative energy vehicles.

China wants to raise its annual production capacity to 500,000 hybrid or all-electric cars and buses by the end of 2011, from 2,100 last year, government officials and Chinese car-making executives said. By comparison, CSM Worldwide, a consulting firm, predicts that Japan and South Korea together will be producing 1.1 million hybrid or all-electric light vehicles by then.


From TODAY, World
Friday, 03-April-2009


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