The Chinese government has been disappointed at the take-up of electric vehicles to date and has introduced a new strategy which includes the granting of electric vehicle licences. The idea seems to be a more proactive relationship with manufacturers, as those with the licences will be the only ones allowed to produce electric vehicles in China. There is also the potential to bring in other companies, perhaps more technology-based, from outside of the manufacturing sector to add much-needed competition across Chinese EV market.
Why is the government being more proactive?
It seems as though the Chinese authorities are a little more concerned that technology companies such as Apple and Google could be about to dominate the future electric vehicle transportation market. While Google has already announced plans to create its own portfolio of electric vehicles there has been no such confirmation from Apple as yet, although rumours are growing.
There is also a practical aspect to the encouragement of electric vehicle use across China as the country is more and more at the beck and call of oil imports and air pollution is reaching dangerous levels. Whatever happens there is no doubt that the Chinese manufacturing industry will have a major part to play in the future electric vehicle market although cooperation with overseas competition, with perhaps the exception of Tesla, has yet to materialise.
Quote from ElectricForumcom: "In a surprise development, bearing in mind how independent and strong minded Tesla has been in years gone by, the company has agreed to abide by Chinese government charging standards in the future"
Is the electric vehicle market really here to stay?
Even though many people are still sceptical of the rise in use of electric vehicles across the world, we only need to look at the massive investment by governments to confirm that the market is here to stay. It may not yet have reached the mass market and there may still be the journey anxiety issues but there has been massive progress over the last few years. Slowly but surely, there are also signs of competing companies, and indeed competing countries, more willing to work together to at least get the industry off the ground and into the mass market.
The recent fall in the price of oil has reduced the short to medium term attractions of electric vehicles but sales have still managed to hit record highs in many countries around the world.
Innovation and technology
It will be interesting to see the future shape of the electric vehicle market which has grown and developed at lightning fast pace over the last decade or so. The issue of battery technology has to all intents and purposes been at the root of the short to medium term issues/problems but there has also been great progress in this particular area.
Over the last few months we have seen the announcement of various new battery technologies which have the potential to significantly extend the life of the modern day electric vehicle power source. Thankfully the authorities seem keen to extend their financial incentives, both to manufacturers and consumers, which should at least add to the buying momentum in the short term. In many ways it is only a matter of time before the industry does crack the mass market but hopefully it will be sooner rather than later!