When it comes to electric vehicles (EVs), China might just have the upper hand, as it is now the largest EV market in the world. With nearly 580,000 electric cars sold in China in last year, a 72 per cent increase from the previous year, China has emerged as a leader in both the supply of and demand for EVs. As the Chinese government strives to lead and dominate the EV market, it aims for EVs to account for 12 per cent of overall sales by 2020.
How has China cornered the market?
Tesla may be the industry leader in the West, but in China, it is a completely different story. Chinese car companies have been producing EVs at a mind-blowing rate for some time now.
If you're interested in the EV market and have never heard of BYD, then it's time to get familiar: BYD is already selling more EV cars than Tesla! It also helps that Chinese drivers buy more EVs than anywhere else in the world. Alongside this, EV carmakers in China have access to the largest domestic market in the world.
Why does the country want to dominate the production of electric vehicles, beyond financial gain?
The country's incentive to become the leader in the production of electric vehicles is rooted in the aspirations of the government. The Chinese government has goals to sell seven million new EV cars in the country by 2025.
Most of the top EV car manufacturers are state-owned with government backing - supported by the government's policies which pushes towards all-electric vehicles in order to tackle their serious air pollution problem.
How will other countries participate in the industry if one country has the majority of control over it?
Just because China has the majority in the EV industry, there's no reason to believe that other countries won't join in. As our society strives to become more environmentally friendly, the guilt of the carbon footprint will be the 'next big thing' past the plastic straw ban.
London councils are set to deliver another 2,6430 charging points within the next financial year which clearly shows an appetite for EV cars in the West. We can expect a 'trickle-down effect' after this in other counties across England.
With so much innovation and changes to the marketplace, it's an exciting time for China in terms of the automobile industry. The development of EV technologies could be the answer to helping China succeed in meeting its air quality standards nationwide by 2035, as promised. China's big cities are famously polluted and the Chinese government understands the benefits that EV technologies could have on its environmental problems and the need for systemic change.
Watch this space for further development in the years to come as we continue to see the impact that EV adoption is going to have on the automobile industry and as China continues its journey on the road to becoming the electric vehicle market leader.