China More Fertile Ground For EVs

Mass production of cheap gasoline cars in US makes it hard for manufacturers to shift to EV production, says Chinese engineer who sees EV market in China more adaptable.

Published: 08-Dec-2000

Electric cars are expected to have large room for development in China as domestic automobile manufacturing is not as industrialized as in western countries, industrial experts said. General Motors, Toyota and Mercedes-Benz have all introduced electric cars to the market over the past few years.

Electric models do not have strong sales in Western countries because of high prices. The cost for an electric car is usually three times higher than an average petroleum-fuelled car. The main reason for the hefty price tag is that the Western oil-fuelled automobile industry is based on mass production, and it is hard to shift to electric models, said Chen Xiaonan, senior engineer of science and technology division with the Economic Commission of the Beijing municipal government.

"China began its electric automobile research as early as the 1970s. But because of the lack of investment and human resources, it remains behind other developed countries," said Yuan Jiazhen, chief engineer of Beijng Erqi Green Electric Automobile Institute. Experts said introducing foreign technology is an effective way to speed up development of electric cars. And many domestic automobile manufacturers have shown great interest in foreign help.

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