Paging Tom Friedman: China’s Electric Car Industry Failing
China’s leaders are finding it’s a lot tougher to create a world-beating electric car industry than they hoped.
In 2009, they announced bold plans to cash in on demand for clean vehicles by making China a global power in electric car manufacturing. They pledged billions of dollars for research and called for annual sales of 500,000 cars by 2015.
Today, Beijing is scaling back its ambitions, chastened by technological hurdles and lack of buyer interest. Developers have yet to achieve breakthroughs and will be lucky to sell 2,000 cars this year, mostly taxis. The government has hedged its bets by broadening the industry’s official goals to include cleaner gasoline engines.
The government has repeatedly changed targets because the “technology isn’t advancing quite as fast as people had hoped,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford Motor Co.’s president for Asia, at this week’s Beijing auto show.
The rest here.