Another push for electric cars in China from the visible hand – China business and technology news from May 1, 2017

Business & Technology

A summary of today’s top news in Chinese business and technology. Part of the daily SupChina news roundup "Where does Anbang get its bucks?"

JINHUA, CHINA - NOVEMBER 10: A woman running business of banners poses with a support banner for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at Yiwu International Trade Centre on November 10, 2016 in Jinhua, Zhejiang Province of China. Businessmen at Yiwu International Trade Centre exported their election banners to foreign countries during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (Photo by VCG/VCG via Getty Images)

The Financial Times reports (paywall) that draft rules distributed among industry leaders at last week’s Shanghai Auto Show “would require as much as 8 percent of [all car] sales in China to be electric vehicles as early as next year.” China is already the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) market, as more than 300,000 units were sold in the country last year on the strength of central government subsidies reaching as high as 55,000 yuan ($8,000), often doubled by local government offers. It is unclear how the prospective 2018 sales quota would be calculated or whether the final number would be as ambitious, however, the current five-year government plan sets a goal of 5 million cumulative sales of EVs by 2020.

Many Chinese automakers are vying to occupy this space in the market. On April 20, SupChina noted that the company Hybrid Kinetic plans to “produce up to 300,000 new-energy vehicles within three years,” and that the EVs in development will purportedly be capable of running for 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) on each charge. Michael Dunne, in his profile of Geely Automotive for SupChina, noted that “Beijing Automotive and Hong Kong-listed BYD are in a dogfight for leadership in electric vehicles. The two companies produce 8 of the 10 best-selling EVs in China.”