Throughout the land of China, the replacement of gasoline-fueled taxis, buses and trucks with new electric models is in full swing. This huge change in China has also boosted a wave of global electric vehicle (EV) revolution. China is undergoing a major revolution in EV replacement, and it may be the only player in this game.
A BYD E-bus in Shenzhen, China
Before the end of 2020, all buses and taxis in Shenzhen will be replaced by electric transportation, and a large number of financial subsidies help drive the switch. For per vehicle sold, an e-bus manufacturer will receive a subsidy of $25,900. From 2009 to 2017, the Chinese government has subsidized more than $48 billion on EVs. According to the Center for Strategic and International Studies, subsidies may continue until 2020.
According to Shanghai research consulting firm Automotive Foresight, during the three years from 2014 to 2017, Chinese manufacturers produced 358,000 electric buses, almost equivalent to half of China’s urban bus ownership. 99% of these electric buses are eventually shipped to all parts of the world. A large number of orders came in and there was almost no external competition, which made Chinese car companies develop rapidly. In July, Guangzhou purchased 4,810 electric buses, totaling worth $795 million, mostly from BYD Co.
The prospect of huge contracts has led to a diversification of some local passenger-car manufacturers, including Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., which launched its commercial EV subsidiary Yuan Cheng in 2016. A spokesperson for the company said that it had sold 6,000 electric trucks and buses over the past year.
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In the international market, the steady flow of foreign orders has made Chinese car companies stand out. London’s famous black taxicab is now built by Geely’s other subsidiary, the London EV Co., and the city’s newest trademark red double-decker electric buses are supplied by BYD.
BYD’s electric buses and taxis market has spread to nearly 50 countries. It sets up an electric bus assembly plant in Lancaster and has sold 750 electric buses in the United States.
However, the advantage of Chinese car maker early lead may not last long, and many foreign commercial-vehicle brands are eyeing the global EV markets. Volkswagen Group and Volvo Group are accelerating the development of their own electric models’ sale in China. Nissan Motor Co. has already partnered with Dongfeng Motor Corp. to produce electric trucks, while the new joint venture between Group Renault and China’s local automaker Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. plans to launch three light commercial EV models by 2020.