Chinese Government Wants Electric Cars, Buyers Want SUVs

3 weeks ago by Mark Kane 4

NIO ES8

The Chinese automotive market is currently torn by various forces.

Today, the government plans to mandate more and more all-electric and plug-in hybrid models to the market (mostly smaller cars), while at the same time, the consumer demand is trending to larger platforms.

BYD Tang

According to the StarTribune, SUVs holds around a 40% of market share, a number which has recently increased by 21%.

So, it seems that the Chinese consumer has fallen in love with the SUV.  As a result, the easiest route to now increase plug-in sales would naturally be the introduction of many more decent SUV plug-ins offerings.

The recent debut of the NIO ES8 could be one such offering.

With Beijing’s proposal to require plug-in vehicles to stand for at least 8% of each brand’s total sales from 2018, manufacturers are running scared.

“The pressure for electrification in China is an added headache for automakers at a time when sales growth is slowing and competition heating up in a market they are counting on to drive global revenue.”

Quotas would grew later to 10% in 2019 and 12% in 2020, but as of today there is a fairly big chance that the government will ease requirements.

source: StarTribune

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4 responses to "Chinese Government Wants Electric Cars, Buyers Want SUVs"

  1. SJC says:

    Give them EV SUVs.

    1. Rich says:

      Agreed, but don’t stop with China. Provide EV SUVs to the world.

    2. super390 says:

      It’s a real technical challenge to do that. A true frame & body SUV is the worst combination of frontal area and profile for aerodynamics, and too much weight. It’s as if every urge of consumers is to make energy efficiency completely impossible.

      The gas engine actually benefits from all this ridiculous drag and weight because it’s forced to operate close to its optimal speed just to lug this thing around in ordinary driving. Which I understand to be about 1/3 of maximum output.

      This means that an electric motor operates at less of a proportional advantage over a gasoline engine with such a body than it would with a more efficient one. With tiny city cars, the gas engine loses out because it’s forced into the start & stop driving where it’s at its worst. With high-horsepower aerodynamic performance cars, the gas engine rarely even reaches its efficient range in normal driving. Those have been the two areas where we’ve had the most success with EVs.

      Still, if the batteries get cheap enough, it can be done. The problem is, we’re acting as if car companies haven’t shaped the mentality of consumers with their generations of propaganda, even in China, whose new elites look to the worst of the West for their model of wretched excess. If Americans were still driving long, low cars with huge tailfins, the Chinese would want those too.

      1. Dan says:

        There are lots of inaccuracies in your comment. SUVs for the most part are smaller and more efficient than the long tail finned cars of a different era. Most modern SUVs are also not body on frame. That might have been true maybe 20 years ago. What you fail to realize is that most dedicated EV platforms like the Tesla or the i3 ARE body on frame even though they are cars and not SUVs.

        People choose SUVs because they are often more practical and versatile than similarly sized cars. There is nothing wrong with making that trade off and there is nothing about that form factor that prevents electrification.

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