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Author Topic: e-Vehicles: how long until China bans cars?  (Read 1500 times)

Calach Pfeffer

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e-Vehicles: how long until China bans cars?
« on: December 15, 2016, 12:08:15 PM »
Years ago, a motorcycle might have been a transport option, but then they started being banned in major cities, and as it happened electric bikes weren't, and regulations governing electric bikes were much more loosely enforced. And here we are today. Motorcycles still exist as two-wheel taxis, but private e-bikes are far more plentiful.

So, what about gasoline cars? In places like Beijing, there are beginning to be restrictions on their use. To the point were richer drivers are buying two cars (or more exactly, different number plates), and younger drivers are giving up the car dream (ask a class of students what car they have their hearts set on, and will anyone know?).

On the other hand, gasoline is becoming cheaper. And even in China, petrol retail infrastructure is widespread. Add to that the simple fact battery technology just does not offer the same reliability and range afforded by an internal combustion engine. If China is ever to ban petrol cars, the e-Car technology and infrastructure had better arrive sooner rather than later.

But it might.

Right?
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Nolefan

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Re: e-Vehicles: how long until China bans cars?
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2016, 06:39:20 PM »
Years ago, a motorcycle might have been a transport option, but then they started being banned in major cities, and as it happened electric bikes weren't, and regulations governing electric bikes were much more loosely enforced. And here we are today. Motorcycles still exist as two-wheel taxis, but private e-bikes are far more plentiful.

So, what about gasoline cars? In places like Beijing, there are beginning to be restrictions on their use. To the point were richer drivers are buying two cars (or more exactly, different number plates), and younger drivers are giving up the car dream (ask a class of students what car they have their hearts set on, and will anyone know?).

On the other hand, gasoline is becoming cheaper. And even in China, petrol retail infrastructure is widespread. Add to that the simple fact battery technology just does not offer the same reliability and range afforded by an internal combustion engine. If China is ever to ban petrol cars, the e-Car technology and infrastructure had better arrive sooner rather than later.

But it might.

Right?

nah...

I Beijing, cars are not regulated, License plates are. That's in terms of how many are issued each year and which number can be on the road. Motorcycles were regulated much before cars ever got there though. JingA plates which allow one to ride anywhere in the city have not been issued since roughtly 2004. however, jingB which you can only technically use to ride outside of the 4th ring road are still being issued and pretty much used to ride all around town. Gov't just not consistent on this.

They tried banning e-bikes in 08 and that lasted less than 24h before they backtraked. Right now, the newest ban in effect is for segway type e-machines and those weird one wheel balance gizmos.
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: e-Vehicles: how long until China bans cars?
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2016, 12:56:10 AM »
What I'm wondering is how entrenched guzzoline is in the PRC.

In say the USA, it'd probably be fair to say electric vehicles are a niche product. Don't know about Europe in general, there's not necessarily such a car culture there, but probably internal combustion is king. But then say look at China and observe the rise of electric bikes. Electric bikes are a weird and unmanly product. They make no roar and their only cool design features are better fitted to some Buck Rogers movie than to a raceway with bikini-clad girl posters. And yet, they have flourished here in a way they haven't elsewhere. Part of that success was due to the various weird and inconsistent regulations used around the country on motorcycles. The gov steered the market (inconsistently, weirdly) away from two-wheeled internal combustion. Could it happen for four wheels?

As we know though, two wheels good, four wheels better, the car is gaining ground so much faster and more widely than motorcycles ever would have. Even if the government wanted to steer the market toward the less obviously polluting (and probably less effectively an economic driver) battery cars, maybe they've already lost the race?
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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: e-Vehicles: how long until China bans cars?
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2016, 12:16:53 AM »
To some extent, it depends on the amount of influence the oil companies and car manufacturers have with the gov't.  In the US, some of the big automakers once decided to ignore schedule fuel economy limits.  At the last moment, Congress killed the plan to tighten the limits.

If the Chinese government decides to tell the auto and oil industries to make changes, I don't think either industry would have the nerve to try to play chicken with scheduled gov't regulations.
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: e-Vehicles: how long until China bans cars?
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2016, 02:42:06 AM »
So I wondered, what are China's largest companies....
And by revenue, it's: Sinopec, China National Petroleum, and State Grid  bibibibibi
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_largest_Chinese_companies


And again by revenue, in the world only Walmart is bigger:
http://beta.fortune.com/global500/list/
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: e-Vehicles: how long until China bans cars?
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2016, 07:40:41 AM »
I do wish the article included more sources, but.....

Get Ready. Electric Cars are About to Takeover [sic] China

In an effort to stop the outflow of investments, and at the same time, reduce carbon emissions, China’s National Development and Reform Commission and Ministry of Commerce have announced a new policy that will relax the country’s protectionist laws for electric vehicles — subject to public approval.

The global superpower has laws in force that require foreign automobile companies wanting to establish a Chinese production base to form partnerships with the local ones, and divulge their manufacturing process. This discourages external competition and protects the domestic manufacturers. But apparently China can’t produce enough EVs by itself, so it’s bringing in foreign companies.

As it stands, the government is rallying for its citizens to make the switch to EVs. China wants to have 5 million EVs rolled out on the roads by 2020, as a measure to combat its massive carbon footprint....
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Re: e-Vehicles: how long until China bans cars?
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2016, 03:08:14 AM »
Although 2 big oil companies on top of the list is not going to help any fast shift to EVs, "State Grid" sounds very much like the electric company.  From the electric company's point of view, electric vehicles are not a problem. bfbfbfbfbf

Also, some of the fuel which would have gone to cars can be burned in power plants to keep the EVs going.  In terms of carbon footprint, this is neutral, but it's a lot easier to install and monitor pollution controls on a few hundred power plants than on millions of cars.

Assuming the EV target for 2020 really is only 5 million vehicles, I think that puts us at least 2 decades away from a complete phaseout of internal combustion vehicles.
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: e-Vehicles: how long until China bans cars?
« Reply #7 on: December 28, 2016, 07:04:29 AM »
According to China Daily, as of 2015 there were 172 million car owners. According to WSJ, China is well on the way to 300 million licensed car drivers. And according to Wikipedia... i don't even... assuming I glanced at those numbers long enough to form a correct impression, then maybe in China electric cars sales were 0.8% of total car sales in 2015. But in that same 2015, China suddenly overtook Japan to become the second largest electric car market in the world.

Weird(ish) thing I keep seeing about electric cars in all markets is the car companies, even the car companies that manufacture these things, give only tiny fractions of their car marketing budgets over to making anyone know about their offerings. Potentially, but probably not, that's where China can be different. There isn't the long standing "love affair" aka monumental marketing campaign histories with cars here.

The other thing about China is local manufacturers do most of the selling. Tesla, the Apple of the e-car world, accounts for something like 2% of the the e-cars in China. (I may have made that number up.)
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: e-Vehicles: how long until China bans cars?
« Reply #8 on: December 28, 2016, 07:26:28 AM »


I *think* "plug-in electric vehicle" (PEV) means cars and not scooters, but I'm not sure.
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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: e-Vehicles: how long until China bans cars?
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2016, 06:34:29 AM »
The one hope would be for the next 5 year plan to tremendously accelerate the development, manufacture, and SALES of EVs.  I checked a few numbers online myself.  Not sure how accurate they are, but supposedly, a couple of years back annual car sales in China were over 7 million.  If that's true, having 5 million total on the road by 2020 won't make much of a dent.  What's needed is to get EV (and perhaps other alternately powered and/or super-efficient cars) to eventually break past the 50% of all new sales.

One option to help - if the manufacturers can make vehicles to meet the needs of various gov't agencies, then putting in regs to first encourage (and later require) the use of these vehicles by gov't agencies makes sure the manufacturers aren't stuck sitting on a huge inventory of cars without any customers.
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: e-Vehicles: how long until China bans cars?
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2016, 11:42:04 AM »
If Tesla's V3 Supercharger technology is real, or is soon enough going to be, then government policy could well, petroindustry roadblocks notwithstanding, shift quite suddenly. Assuming of course that China somehow did in a timely manner acquire similar genuinely fast charging technology. The version 3 of the Suoercharger will, when it arrives, supposedly charge an electric vehicle in the kind of time you'd take to fill a tank with gas.

https://www.engadget.com/2016/12/26/tesla-supercharger-v3-teaser/

Conceivably, this could all happen quite suddenly for China. Has the last twenty years of China's development not been driven, after all, by a rapid deployment of industrial tech?

On the other hand, electric vehicles are a consumer product. Whereas a government could build a road and cause a thousand apartment blocks to appear overnight, putting hundreds of thousands of drivers in a new technology and therein after supporting that technology's ongoing use could be some new kind of task that might not work. They can and have done it with internal combustion engine vehicles. But e-cars and the battery tech behind them is new. There's only a very short history of their widespread use anywhere in the world. You'd only have to electrocute one family.....

And that assumes China can get acquire the technology.

Ideally, China becomes the largest market, the biggest test driver, and the developer of world beating technology..... China becomes a model to the world.

 aoaoaoaoao
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Escaped Lunatic

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Re: e-Vehicles: how long until China bans cars?
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2016, 12:29:53 AM »
Personally, I hope China embraces the new technology as quickly as possible.  Adding EVs to government and commercial vehicle fleets would help to convince fuel station operators and parking lots to install recharging points.  Having more places to charge up in turn makes the technology more acceptable to consumers.

This being China, if the right group of celebrities started really using EVs (as opposed to making commercials for one kind of car and then jumping back into an expensive sports car of a different brand - oh so common with US celebrities), we could achieve the critical mass of consumer demand, accessibility for recharging, and (with luck) production (domestic, imported, or somehow blended) earlier than expected.

I can see that improving and competing recharge methods is going to cause some initial issues.  The batteries and on-board portion of the recharging hardware have to be compatible with what you plug your car into.  Even if this V3 is amazing and gets widespread adoption across multiple companies (wonder what Tesla would charge the other automakers for that?), eventually there will be a V4.  Also, if I'm not in a hurry, maybe I just want to let my car charge up overnight.  Will the trunks of EVs eventually be overrun with adapter cables and transformers?
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: e-Vehicles: how long until China bans cars?
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2016, 01:19:49 AM »
I wonder...

Just thinking back over the what I've seen of this small town I live in, seems to me the fuel stations I know are fuel stations that have always been where they are. I suppose new ones must have sprung up over time, but I'm struck just now by how there have been fuel stations here long before there were so many private cars. What "cars" there were back then were taxis, government vehicles, buses and trucks, and a handful of private vehicles owned by institutions or "a rich man".

Seems to suggest that, indeed, even if we wanted it to, private demand won't be driving the creation of an electric vehicle infrastructure.

Near-instant charging along with government and commercial vehicle user adoption, that's what's needed. Then the switch would begin to happen.

EV taxis I could see. Also buses. Intra-city government vehicles as well. But police cars? Do Chinese police do high speed chases? As the Blues Brothers have suggested, cop cars need to  be a bit special.

And yeah, also a standard for adapters.
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Re: e-Vehicles: how long until China bans cars?
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2016, 05:38:18 AM »
Not all police cars are designed for high speed highway chases.  I wonder how many of those police and security golf cart style vehicles are electric vs gasoline?  I also think Tesla might be able to come up with something which could serve as an electrically powered police interceptor vehicle.
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Calach Pfeffer

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Re: e-Vehicles: how long until China bans cars?
« Reply #14 on: December 30, 2016, 05:54:50 AM »
The campus gendarmes around here get about in electric golf carts. I think actually that might be one of the ways electric vehicles could stall as an option: no prestige. They make decent short range utility vehicles, but can they transport a fat cat in the style his important position demands?

The other thing, and the reason for making this thread in the first place, is I'm wondering if foreign manufacturers have a hope in hell of doing anything in this market. Right now the bulk of EVs in use in China are manufactured in China by Chinese companies. (Pretty sure that's true...) I sincerely doubt the technology was invented in China, nor has it been, I'm supposing, significantly developed in China. What I'm supposing is the tech has been ripped off from companies like Tesla, but at the end of the day Tesla and other foreign companies won't see much China action at all. Most especially they won't if the first order of business is supplying government departments.

Electric vehicles could become a Chinese success story but only if China somehow gains control of the technology. Tesla might make a go of it if they can manage to position themselves as the EV Apple, but then BYD or some other large Chinese manufacturer will become the Huawei of electric vehicles and boom goes Tesla.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2016, 05:59:59 AM by Calach Pfeffer »
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