China Will Have Plenty of EVs, But Will The Market Want Them?

There’s no question that there are lots of plug-in electric vehicles sold in China.

That’s because it’s the world’s largest car market, so it makes sense that it’s also the world’s largest market for plug-in electric vehicles.

What’s not as obvious is what Chinese consumers want, at least when it comes to EV offerings.

SEE ALSO: China Backing Off Tough Electric Car Sales Mandate

The Chinese government is planning to increase the amount of EVs on the country’s roads in an attempt to cut emissions. How it will do so is unclear, however, as regulations are ever-shifting and setup to give automakers as much leeway as possible.

Not only that, but no one seems to have a solid grasp on the battery range that Chinese consumers find acceptable (in America, that number is over 100 miles, and most likely over 200 miles).

SEE ALSO: Ford Launching Mondeo Energi And Electric Small SUV in China

All of this creates havoc for automakers, especially foreign ones, since product plans must be finalized years in advance.

The uncertainty is leading to product plans that aren’t fully focused, since either Chinese regulations or consumer preferences could change at any moment.

For example, the Chinese government is phasing out subsidies that have spurred sales of EVs in favor of a carbon-credits program that will be much like California’s Zero-Emission-Vehicle program.

The subsidies are expected to be phased out by 2021, yet the Chinese government also wants to see EVs accounting for 20 percent of sales by 2025.

The shift to carbon credits puts the onus on auto manufacturers, and if consumer demand for EVs isn’t strong enough, they may have to sell EVs at a loss to comply with the Chinese government. The carbon credits are meant to offset any losses, but it doesn’t mean they will.

Automakers are wary that the policy will change again, perhaps before the year is out. As it is, China is backing off its current mandate for EV sales.

Ward’s Auto via Green Car Reports


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