- China winning at electric cars.
- Described as the “Powerhouse” of electric cars
- Might beat Tesla in the foreign trade of electric cars
Demand for electric vehicles in China is soaring. Nearly 1.32 million new energy vehicles were sold there last year – a 63% rise in 2017.
To put that number into context, it’s estimated that as of September 2018, there were only around 4 million electric vehicles in use across the whole world.
The global market is growing very fastly, increasing by six-fold since 2013 and doubling since 2015. Much of that growth is being driven by China. As the chart shows, it’s been just four years since Chinese sales of electric vehicles overtook those in the United States. Last year, they were more than three times higher, and the gap is predicted to get wider.
New energy vehicles accounted for simply over four-dimensional of all 28.1 million automobiles sold in China last year. That’s a higher rate than the US (under 2%), and Europe (just over 3%). But it’s not high enough to satisfy the Chinese government. Last April it declared bold targets of 100% for typical traveler cars in 2019, rising to 12% in 2020.
Although those targets wouldn’t quite make China the world’s most enthusiastic consumers of electric cars per head of population – that title goes to Norway – the sheer scale of the Chinese market makes it far and away from the most important in the world.
That is definitely what prompted Tesla’s call to open an enormous new industrial plant in Shanghai. Construction of the Gigafactory 3 began earlier this month, with the stated aim of producing half a million vehicles a year. Production can specialize in the Tesla Model three exclusively for the domestic Chinese market.
The push for electric vehicles now forms a major part of the environmental policies of many governments. At least twenty have set formal targets, with China one amongst many nations to announce a need to end ancient combustion engines entirely.
It’s not just climate change that is prompting policymakers to act: a growing body of scientific evidence points to the damaging effects air pollution is having on people’s health, life expectancy, and even intelligence.