Will China's booming electric car market sustain its growth in the long term?

To comprehend the role of governments in promoting emerging technologies, one need only examine the taxi fleets in Beijing.

Half a decade ago, Beijing unveiled its intention to prohibit the entry of fossil fuel-based taxis, leading to a remarkable transformation. Presently, numerous taxis in the city are powered by batteries, ensuring drivers of these electric vehicles (EVs) are free from concerns about spending time at charging stations.

In Beijing, as well as several other Chinese cities, numerous electric taxis adopt a battery-swapping system. These taxis visit specialized stations where a machine swiftly replaces the depleted battery with a fully charged one, completing the process within minutes.

According to I-Yun Lisa Hsieh from National Taiwan University, drivers are eager to start earning income and, as a result, are not willing to wait for two hours for electric vehicle (EV) charging.

This is merely one aspect of the thriving and diverse electric car market in China, where the public is enthusiastically embracing EVs at an unprecedented rate.

The China Passenger Car Association made a revised prediction in July, stating that the country would witness the registration of 6 million new electric vehicles (EVs) in 2022. This figure surpasses their earlier projection of 5.5 million EV sales for the year.

Based on the latest figures, Tesla achieved its highest-ever sales month in China in September, selling a total of 83,135 cars. Furthermore, the registration of electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles accounted for nearly a quarter of all newly registered cars in China.

This positions China ahead of Europe and significantly ahead of the United States in terms of technology adoption. Notably, half of the world’s electric vehicles are sold in China.

According to Ms Hsieh, the surge in electric vehicle (EV) adoption in China is primarily propelled by government mandates and incentives. For over a decade, the Chinese government has provided subsidies for EV purchases, although the value of these subsidies has gradually decreased and is set to expire by 2023.

Nevertheless, there are numerous compelling financial reasons that make buying an electric car an obvious choice for consumers.

In China, purchasers of new fossil fuel vehicles are not only responsible for the car’s cost but also the license plate fee, which can be quite expensive.

Ms. Hsieh explains that obtaining a new license plate in Shanghai, for example, can cost nearly 100,000 yuan (£12,500; $14,000), making it a significant financial burden for buyers.

However, choosing an electric vehicle (EV) comes with additional benefits that vary from city to city. For instance, in Liuzhou, EV owners are granted the privilege of driving in bus lanes and are provided with free parking spaces as well.

These perks serve as incentives to encourage the adoption of EVs and make them an attractive option for consumers.

Another enticing aspect is the potentially irresistible price tag associated with certain vehicles. The Wuling Hong Guang Mini EV, in particular, stands out by defying the notion that EVs are generally expensive options.

Source : bbc.com

By Ryan

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