China Is Auto Industry’s Electric Future

Tesla charging point in Beijing
Tesla cut prices for Model 3 electric cars in China for the third time since November. (Photo: REUTERS/Jason Lee)

The world's leading automobile companies launched their flagship electric vehicles at the Shanghai Auto Show this week. Many of the new cars are limited for sale in China because its government provides subsidies and policies that favor electric vehicles.

China is the largest market for vehicles globally. It also serves as the world's manufacturing hub. The Asian economic giant became the center for electric vehicle development.

The Q2L e-tron, Audi's electric sports utility vehicle, was launched on Tuesday. The car will be produced in the southern city of Foshan and it is only available for sale in China. The German brand also launched its e-tron for distribution in China following its premiere in San Francisco in 2018. It is Audi's first electric production model. The company announced in its press conference that they are planning to produce the car model in China in 2020.

Alexander Seitz, a member of Audi's board of management for finance, China and legal affairs, said in an interview that the biggest chunk of electric cars of the Audi portfolio we will have here in China. He added that China will lead this initiative from a technology standpoint and a portfolio standpoint.

Mr. Seitz also said that Audi plans to increase its manpower to more than double its staff in its local research and development center from 300 to 700 people. He added that the Chinese market is very innovative, is very speedy, so here we can get a lot of inputs for our global activities as well.

Volkswagen, the parent company of Audi, also announced its big plans to expand in China's electric vehicle market around the Shanghai Auto Show.

According to the company's statement, it expects China to contribute to more than half of its planned 22 million battery electric vehicles by 2028.

According to the company, they will release a new model of electric vehicles to be released in China at the beginning of 2021. The company said that they will start with its sports utility vehicle called ID.ROOMZZ.

Stephan Wöllenstein, CEO, Volkswagen Group China, said during an event on Tuesday that they have a clear ambition to be the number one NEV (electric vehicle) brand in China, and we have no doubt the ID. ROOMZZ will play an important part in that. Infiniti also premiered its electric sports sedan called Qs Inspiration.

According to Trevor Hale, general manager for Infiniti Global Communications, China is going to be the place for electric vehicles. He added that China is the future of electrification by far and it is where they wanted to make a statement for Infiniti, which is going all electric.

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