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Despite Pollution, China Still Isn't Committed To Electric Cars Page 2

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Beijing smog

Beijing smog

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Green benefits and the increasing proliferation of more economical conventional cars is also having an effect. Coupled with China's relative paucity of electric car charging stations, it makes for a customer base unsure of whether an electric car really offers all the benefits its makers say.

That's particularly true of green benefits, in a country where its electricity generation is part of the pollution problem. Recent figures showed China is second only to India in the pollution and emissions produced by electricity generation. An electric car may be cleaner locally than a conventional vehicle, but if that out-sourced energy generation pushes a cloud of smog over your city every few days, it's not as easy to appreciate the benefits.

A study from Carnegie Mellon University cited by JD Power's Dunne also suggests the emissions cost of a Tesla Model S battery is greater than for the production of a whole regular vehicle--though we'd also point out that production is still a smaller proportion of a car's total impact than usage.

You'll probably be familiar with stressing that point to your electric car skeptic friends--which illustrates how difficult it is to break some of the myths around electric cars. Now try breaking those myths for a country of over one billion people...

Growth for green

The final obstacle is, to a degree, more specifc to China.

The country's economy is growing at a large rate, albeit a rate which is slowing down. The challenge is to convince China and the Chinese to trade some of that growth more more environmentally friendly practices.

"The Chinese government and its leadership are well aware of the challenges with air pollution-- [but] they are now having goods and services that were not available 10 to 20 years ago. People are reluctant to give those up" explains Dunne.

Unusually, China Daily reports that Tesla announced the opening of its first Chinese dealership at the Detroit Auto Show in January. For a company just getting into its stride with selling cars in its home market, it seems odd Tesla is taking the risk to expand into a market unsure of electric cars.

Perhaps Tesla knows something the rest of us don't--but we suspect China's growing demand for luxury products may have something to do with it.

A Nissan Leaf is simply a mode of transportation powered by electricity. But Tesla's approach to tackling other luxury vehicles head-on--and offering a more useful driving range in the process--could be more attractive to the sort of customers able to afford a new Model S.

One thing is for sure--whether Tesla is successful in China or not, the country itself has its work cut out to meet a self-imposed target of half a million annual electric car sales by the end of 2015--or its target of five million a decade after that.

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Comments (9)
  1. Considering the large amount of coal China burns, electric cars
    are a total non-solution. Apparently no one has bothered to check on what the Chinese are doing. And it's a whole lot more and a lot more effective (especially cost-effective) than California's ill-conceived "renewable" strategy. China has more nuclear plants under construction than the rest of the world combined and will have 600 by mid-century and 1600 by the turn of the century. And they can build them at less cost than an
    equivalent pumped storage facility California is building that
    can hold a mere 10 hours of power,required by solar/wind. I calculated the land required for a solar farm big enough to equal one reactor: 80,000 acres. Desertification is the bigger
    problem
     
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  2. Gosh, that sounds scary, 600 nuclear power stations in China by mid-century and 1600 by the turn of the century? What will they do with all that radioactive waste ?? Don't know whether our seas and landfills can take any more of this man-made toxic waste. Bring on the solar farms to produce electricity for electric vehicles ! Clean energy = health.
     
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  3. "What will they do with all that radioactive waste ??"

    Two options: 1. Use a method that they, the US, Canada, and a few others know to render radioactive material inert. 2. Sell it for weapons use. [depleted uranium]

    Peace
     
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  4. I rear the Chinese reluctance is a bit more mundane than all of that.
    They are HUGE in electric bicycles and electric scooters. But electric cars are really not making it.

    It is not the electricity. Not the range. And not the price of the cars.

    It's the garage. Very few Chinese live in a house with a garage. Miles and miles of high rises with apartments.

    You can take an electric bicycle or scooter in the elevator with you and up to your apartment. You can charge there and it won't be stolen.

    What do you do with an electric car?

    Jack Rickard
    http://www.EVtv.me
     
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  5. EV sales maybe abysmal in China so far but I think Tesla might yet be surprisingly successfully. Its product isn't just about quick economic payback, it's a fantastic automotive toy in a country with an exponentially increasing number of rich people who love their automotive toys. Also the high-tech stuff like the large touchscreen is exactly the sort of trinkets that sells cars a country like China.

    A lot depends on the sort of import taxes Tesla faces and to what extend they are offset by incentives of course but apart from I think China could easily and quickly develop in a more important market for Tesla than the USA.
     
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  6. CHINA MASSES COULD SUCCESSFULLY ADOPT THE FULL USE OF ELECTRIC CARS/VEHICLES PROVIDED THE COST OF SUCH VEHICLES IS AT PAR WITH INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE (ICE) VEHICLES AND TO ACHIEVE THIS IS TO PRODUCE HUGE VOLUMES OF ELECTRIC CARS TO BRING DOWN THEIR COSTS, THIS CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED WHEN THEY ADOPT LOST TECHNOLOGIES LIKE THE HENDERSHOT GENERATOR/NIKOLA TESLA'S POWER BOX RECEPTOR TO GENERATE AND RECEIVE ELECTRICITY FROM THE COSMIC ENERGY AROUND US FOR RUNNING THE EV/REEV INSTEAD OK?

    IF EV MANUFACTURER IN CHINA COULD BRING DOWN THE COST OF EV BY ADOPTING LOST TECHNOLOGIES:-
    SAY
    HENDERSHOT GENERATOR FOR EV/REEV

    http://www.keelynet.com/energy/teslafe1.htm
    http://www.keelynet.com/energy/teslcar.htm
    http://www.keelynet.com/energy/teslcar.htm
     
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  7. “And yet, despite scenes such as these, that greenest of transport options, the electric car, is faring particularly poorly in China.”

    The “greenest of transport options” would be the one that cleans the air as it goes; emissions would be at a negative balance.

    “Perhaps Tesla knows something the rest of us don't--but we suspect China's growing demand for luxury products may have something to do with it.”

    Really? According to “we”, “Added to that, wealthy Chinese buyers show virtually no interest in pricey, high-tech plug-in cars, preferring powerful and luxurious sedans from prestigious German makes.” ...bit of a conflict, eh?

    Peace
     
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  8. Depends on the context. You've taken both quotes *out* of context, so naturally they're more likely to conflict.

    Currently electric cars have been pricey and high tech, but not particularly prestigious (or, dare I say it, appealing). Tesla could potentially change that, so it's not even slightly outside the realms of probability that its own electric cars could sell in such a market.
     
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  9. You are reaching on that one. Both statements are in context -- slow adoption of electric cars by the Chinese.

    The quote from the former article remarks "prestigious German makes", which Tesla Motors is neither, prestigious or German. Whether Tesla Motors becomes prestigious in the eyes of the Chinese remains to be seen. As for now, the comment by Jack Rickard is a better analysis of the situation this article attempted to address.

    Peace
     
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