“SHENZHEN, China — There is a powerful reason that automakers worldwide are speeding up their efforts to develop electric vehicles — and that reason is China.
Propelled by vast amounts of government money and visions of dominating next-generation technologies, China has become the world’s biggest supporter of electric cars. That is forcing automakers from Detroit to Yokohama and Seoul to Stuttgart to pick up the pace of transformation or risk being left behind in the world’s largest car market.
Beijing has already called for one out of every five cars sold in China to run on alternative fuel by 2025. Last month, China issued new rules that would require the world’s carmakers to sell more alternative-energy cars here if they wanted to continue selling regular ones. A Chinese official recently said the country would eventually do away with the internal combustion engine in new cars.
“We are seeing ourselves at a crossroads in the development of the automobile industry in this country, with a global scale in mind,” said Jürgen Stackmann, Volkswagen’s top executive for VW brand sales and marketing, during a visit to Shanghai.China has reshaped industries before — clothing, steel making, even lace — through a potent mix of government support and cheap labor. More recently it has transformed green-energy businesses like solar and wind power.”
David LIndsay: God Bless the Chinese.
Here are the top comments, which I endorsed:
I think Scott Pruitt should stand next to that picture of the heavy haze of Pollution in Beijing due to the country’s reliance on power from coal.
It seems like even China is moving in the right direction while the Trump policy is to reverse all of the environmental improvements we’ve made and return us to the good old days of smog, haze and polluted waters.
China considers the very long term in its economic planning. The US – Republicans in particular- considers only next year’s business profits when making environmental and economic policy.
“unfair government support”?
We have that as well, it just is for 19th century coal + 20th cent oil. Welcome to “Make America Last”.
I WISH, our government had the foresight to set incentives for industry and consumers that protect the planet we need to live on.
Let’s see if the Russian Troll Farm attacks this comment like they did the last time we had this topic. Some facts:
1. If electricity is generated by anything but a coal plant, there is a very large benefit to plug-in vehicles (hybrid or pure EV), in terms of CO2 and local pollution.
2. Coal plants, like most thermal plants, burn 24/7, because the system temperature has to be maintained. This means that CO2 is being produced when there is low demand for electricity, at night. EV charging at night means that this “wasted” CO2 production *replaces* the CO2 an ICE car would produce on the morning commute, rather than being *in addition* to it.
3. The net result, in general, when you take all factors into account, is that *even* if electricity is being supplied by coal, switching to plug-in vehicles is a positive step; depending on combinations of efficiencies, in the short term as well as over time.
So, please think critically when the trolls start filling the thread with nonsensical claims that are intended to keep the oil flowing out of Siberia or wherever.
If you watch the NOVA program “In Search of the Superbattery,” you will see that improvements in battery electrolytes (plastic in the NOVA program, and now glass) will likely lead to improvements in energy density of lithium batteries by a factor of about 3. When this happens (and I suspect within the next 3 years), range of electric cars will increase from about 200 miles to about 600 miles. This will quickly result in the death of the internal combustion engine as a common energy source for cars. Automobile manufacturers, aware that this is about to happen, are scrambling to adopt electric car technology, so as to not be left behind with this disruptive change. The US government would do well to take notice.