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The Chinese Take on Electric Cars

December 26, 2017

The Chinese Take on Electric Cars

In recent years, China has become the leading market in electric car sales. Many international automakers see great potential for their electric models in the Chinese market. In fact, Ford Motor Co. recently announced that they would be unveiling close to thirteen new electric models designed just for the region. 

While international automakers see great potential in China, they will still be competing against Chinese brands that can create some serious competition for international automakers since these Chinese brands have first mover advantage. The Chinese brands understand this market far better than an American company like Ford could. The one caveat is that China does not have very many vehicles that can match the quality of international brands like Audi, BMW, or Toyota. However, the country’s Trumpchi brand of cars comes close. In fact, Trumpchi executives are so sure that their vehicle is such a perfect match for American cars that they are exporting the vehicle to America in 2019.

In order to speed up the development of the great Chinese electric car, the government has been pushing Chinese automakers to up their game. In an effort to create the world class Chinese electric car, curb pollution, and decrease the nation's dependence on foreign oil, President Xi Jinping has put in place environmental regulations and economic incentives that can help speed up development. Some of the environmental regulations include tougher new vehicle emissions standards which require automakers to completely redesign their engines. Between redesigning their engines to meet these standards and building electric cars, building electric cars seems to be the easier option. The economic incentives include automakers receiving “credits” from the government if they meet electric vehicle production quotas. The credits can then be used to buy parts for their cars from national suppliers.

One Chinese electric car brand, NIO, shows a lot of promise. They have created an all-electric car that has been said could take on Tesla. The vehicle is called the ES8 and it costs $68,000, half the retail price of a Tesla X in China. The vehicle is a sleek looking seven-seater with some impressive performance stats. The car can go from 0 to 62 miles per hour in 4.4 seconds and has a mile range of 220 miles on a single charge. The car comes with two motors, and each motor controls each axle. When combined, the vehicle can put out about 644 horsepower.

The vehicle has an all-aluminum body and chassis, and comes with an active air suspension. The interior of the vehicle is very roomy (keep in mind, this car can seat seven) and has seats that are adorned in leather. The car comes with features like a heads-up display on the windshield and a wireless charging pad on the center console.

The ES8 will come with artificial intelligence software called NOMI. The NOMI software uses cloud computing that turns the vehicle into an intuitive travel companion. Drivers can talk to their car during their journey and the vehicle will respond accordingly based on the driver’s mood.

From what we know of the ES8, it is shaping up to be serious competition for Tesla in China. A vehicle like the ES8 was made possible because of the Chinese government’s tough stance on wanting to produce more electric vehicles. From what we have seen of the automotive developments in the Chinese market, China has potential to become a leader in new automotive technologies.

It is expected that international automakers will also up their game in order to compete with the innovations coming from China. This friendly competition will only make cars better for car buyers. If predictions are correct, in just a few years the automotive market will be filled with a variety of electrics car that buyers will be able to choose from.