EVs Blossom in Shanghai
By EV World
Who said EVs have wilted and died?
That's certainly not the message being conveyed from the 2004 Michelin Challenge Bibendum held this week in Shanghai. Of the more than 150 vehicles registered to participate in this year's competition, 70 of them were electric-drive; and of these, the vast majority (46) were battery electric-powered cars and two-wheelers built in China.
According to an EV World source familiar with battery development in China, only one manufacturer actually used lithium ion batteries. All the other cars used either nickel, metal hydride or advanced lead-acid. Regardless, the sheer number of battery electric, hybrid-electric and fuel cell-electric cars in the Bibendum this year clearly indicates that the technology is starting to catch on, especially among Chinese car makers and academic institutions.
Fielding electric-drive vehicles in Shanghai are the following Chinese manufacturers: Chargeboard Electric Vehicles, DongFeng Electric Vehicles, Xiangtan Electric Vehicle Co. Changsha Unite Electromotion Technology, FAW, YongJiu, Thundersky, Shanghai Electric Vehicle Development Center, Feici Green Energy Co. and Shenli Technical Co.. Academic institutions also entering EVs included South China University of Technology, Beijing Institute of Technology, Wuhan University of Technology, Qingshan Energy Research Institute, Tianjing Electrical Vehicle Research Institute,Wanxiang Electrical Vehicle Research Center, Hunan University, Tongji University, and Tsinghua University, the MIT of China.
North American, Japanese and European electric-drive entrants included Audi, Volkswagen, Peugeot, Ford, Toyota, Volvo, GM, DaimlerChrysler, Hyundai, and Nisssan. Michelin, which founded and sponsors the annual Challenge, entered its own EV's, built in cooperation with Swiss-based PSI; the fuel-cell powered Hy-Light and the hybrid-electric Concept. French fashion house Courrege, which participated in the 2003 Bibendum in Sonoma, California last year, joined the fun again, but this time with two vehicles, both battery electric-powered. Finally, the Aurora Vehicle Association traveled to China with its solar-powered car.
While most of electric vehicles in the Bidendum were of the four-wheeled variety, Shanghai Electrical Vehicle Development Center brought five of its electric scooters. And from what we understand, this is only a fraction of the two-wheeled electric vehicles currently in production or in development on the mainland.
Michelin was kind enough to post photographs of some of the battery electric cars in the Challenge on their web site. We thought EV World readers would enjoy seeing them. All photographs courtesy of Michelin.
Thundersky Electric Bus
Green Energy Electric Bus
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