The world’s biggest automotive market also faces a mounting difficulty into promoting new energy vehicles to its consumers, deterred by the high prices, range anxiety and lack of recharging infrastructure.
China’s lawmakers have set the goal to drive up the sales of what they call new energy vehicles – which includes plug-in hybrids and full electric cars – seeing them as means to address at least in part the country’s pollution problem.
Now, the China Automotive Technology and Research Center – a state-run unit that also advises the government on auto policy making – has announced its latest recommendation: electric-car manufacturing should be open to other companies, not just automakers.
“Production licenses are hard to come by when China is trying to consolidate the industry,” said Steve Man, Hong Kong-based Asia automotive analyst at Bloomberg Industries. “This is a chance for China to take a global lead in EVs and transform itself into a technology leader in a mature auto industry that has traditionally been led by the West and its neighbors to the east.”
That means electric car builders – like Tesla or BYD – could be challenged by players outside the traditional area, paving the way for parts companies – like the Wanxiang Group – to enter the electric car market. The Chinese auto parts manufacturer has recently acquired the assets of bankrupt US electric and hybrid start-up Fisker Automotive.