China Gearing Up for EV Dominance

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"In 2015, nearly half (47.8%) of all charging stations in the world will be located in China. . ."

While American consumers anxiously await the arrival of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles, China is on course to quickly take a commanding lead in the global market.

The Chinese government has made a strong commitment to electric, plug-in and hybrid vehicles with its stated goal of producing half a million green vehicles per year starting in 2011. In 2015, nearly half (47.8%) of all charging stations in the world will be located in China, as stated in my recent Pike Research report Electric Vehicles on the Grid. By comparison, the U.S. market (22%) will be less than half of that of China.

Chinese manufacturers BYD Auto, Chery and SAIC are busy assembling vehicles, and the infrastructure is being set up as well.

American vehicle charging infrastructure company ECOtality today announced an agreement with China's Shenzhen Goch Investment to set up a sales and manufacturing operations in China. The investment firm will provide $15 million to establish manufacturing and distribution operations for EV charging systems. The company also gave $2 million in direct investment to support ECOtality's domestic and international expansion, and institutional investors provided another $500,000 for this purpose.

The municipal government of Shenzhen province is considering a $7,300 incentive for plug-in hybrid vehicles and is readying a charging infrastructure. The country's central government is also considering a national incentive of between $1,400 and $7,300, according to Cajing.com.

To meet this demand, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) plans to invest $1.8 billion into the development of all-electric and hybrid vehicles, including more than $300 million this year alone. Nissan is targeting the Chinese market for its EVs.

China's infamously smoggy cities and expected explosive growth in vehicles driven by an emerging middle class are the incentive for the country to move quickly to electric vehicles. China is ramping up all types of electricity production to keep the vehicles charged, including nuclear, hydro and huge expansion of coal plants, which will limit the environmental benefits of moving away from petroleum transportation fuels.

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