Turns Out China Has An Astounding 487 Electric Car Makers


And major Chinese cities are fighting for every one of them

Tesla Motors and their pie-in-the-sky China factory may be the biggest Chinese related news lately, but the truth is, there are 487 other electric car makers, already producing cars (in various states of a finished product) in China today. And the number keeps growing.

Most of this is spurred by Beijing’s central government and their call for the country to become a world powerhouse in electric-vehicle technology. And even the local governments are eager to jump in on the bandwagon. While this is happening all over China, the most recent example – coming from an old mining town of Tongling – may paint the clearest picture of what is currently unfolding in the world’s most populous country.

Up until a few years ago, the government officials running this small town (by Chinese standards) knew literally nothing about electric vehicles. But that didn’t stop them from giving an EV startup  $535 million in land and capital to build an electric-car plant here two years ago.

Even the startup – Singulato Motors – was brought to life by a group of tech professionals – led by a former internet security executive – who have never run a car company before. This is all part of a plan, launched three years ago by the Chinese President Xi Jinping. Called ‘Made in China 2025 plan’, the plan promotes  “domestic dominance and global competitiveness” in 10 sectors, includes electric vehicles.

The result is a staggering 487 electric-vehicle makers in China, according to the latest official tally. And most of these are recently born. Earlier this June, the National Development, and Reform Commission and China Construction Bank announced a new $47 billion fund for EVs and other similar tech industries. Regional governments are following suit. With direct government subsidies on electric-vehicle sales totaling $15 billion over the last few years, there’s no way of knowing where the number of EV companies in China will end.

While Tesla Motors is seemingly 5-7 years away from their own factory in China, these kinds of news mean that a proprietary factory by the U.S. car maker might never come to fruition. The domestic companies are getting more and more capital, and it seems that Tesla if it wants to actually build their own Chinese Gigafactory, will have to do that with a local partner. While Elon Musk has avoided such a scenario for a long time, there’s a huge possibility that might be the only feasible scenario for their factory to ever go online over there.

But, in the meantime, the sheer volume of companies, R&D funding, cars produced and sold, will certainly bring Chinese companies and their respective products to a similar level, if not the same, to their Western counterparts. In that scenario, even with the ‘luxury item’ appeal of out-of-country vehicles, Tesla – and other Western car makers – might find themselves battling some fierce & rather dangerous competition down the line. After all, pour enough money into a sprawling industry, and things tend to happen. And right now, China is sitting on a monstrous pile of cash, burning a hole in their pocket.

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29 Comments on "Turns Out China Has An Astounding 487 Electric Car Makers"

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Well, consolidation should be expected soon…

Yes, the Chinese Gov’t is forcing consolidation that will benefit big car makers like Tesla, and weed out small startups:

“Beijing moves to weed out smaller start-ups and create a handful of NEV national champions”

“China’s top economic planner said Friday it will revise rules on project thresholds to prevent reckless development of the new energy vehicle (NEV) industry.

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) is drafting a new regulation on auto industry investment, with “more in-depth rules” on the requirements for NEV projects, NDRC spokesperson Meng Wei told a press conference.”

Go, China! Kill the dirty gas guzzlers!

This needs more capitol letters…

You mean capital letters, like D.C. or S.L.C?

Opps! wrong capitols…

#GeographyJoke — no laughing required

and yet, in China, nearly all of the electricity for their EVs will come from coal, of which China has the worst in the world.
In addition, CHina continues to grow their coal more than AE.

78% is a high number, but that is hardly “nearly all”.

China is also top 3 in solar/wind/hydro installation and capacity in the world.

Can China increase their electrical output from solar/wind/hydro without adding another item?
Keep in mind that adding those costs them billion.
So, how much SLACK is there in their AE? Why NONE you say? That would be CORRECT.
OTOH, CHina’s coal plants are running at around 50% load, while all of AE is running as fast as it can.

So, as EVs are added, coal will be burned.

BTW, same thing for Europe and America.
America has no slack in our AE, Nukes, and relatively little in nat gas.
OTOH, it turns out that coal is running at around 50-65%, so it can easily be ran up to 100%, and add another 30% to our electricity.
With China, they have so much coal plants that they could run their coal up 90% capacity and cover all of their transportation. IOW, they have enough coal plants to double their electricity.

China is buying luxury western car brands, so that will not be an issue for them also.

It’s how the Central Committee operates. It’s not really all that efficient, but it gets the job done. They waste a lot of money in the process and things are not that good for China atm. devaluation of the Yuan, tariffs, and a general slowing of the economy.
On a positive note that have reversed engineered a lot of tech over the years and otherwise acquired it, so they should make some progress with evs, that is desperately needed.

As far as competing with Tesla. It matters little as Tesla has demand for possibly decades as the world fleet converts to evs, with them at the top of the heap as concerns performance, reliability, battery technology, autopilot, and other areas where they are quite a bit ahead of anything else in their space where nothing, currently, can hold a candle to them.
I doubt if Musk will go partners with a Chinese firm, he has adamantly and wisely refused, to do joint venture.

China would do best to just go for the low end less than $30k to get them to the most people as soon as possible.

With almost 487 car companies I’m sure they are addressing all markets.

Why plagiarize a July 19, 2018 5:30 a.m. ET story written by Trefor Moss for The Wall Street Journal without giving credit?


5-7 years? Funny how hundreds of Chinese companies EV companies are talked about in the story having popped up after 2-3 years, but the WSJ story claims it will take 5-7 years for Tesla. Very odd. Especially in a nation where their claim to fame is fast turn-around for global companies coming there to quickly ramp up production of new products, faster than they can in their home nations.

Very odd.

Darn, I have to subscribe to the WSJ “to read the full story “, to see exactly where the alleged “borrowing” was potentially “lifted”, without properly citing the source.

What’s more, the FUD about Tesla needing 5-7 years and a local partner is just parroted from another story we heard here before: https://insideevs.com/is-teslas-china-timeline-feasible/

Tesla will likely require 5-7 years according to ppl in the know.
You can claim otherwise, but it is obvious that you do not have a clue.

Funny, I didn’t even claim anything.

(Though I will remind you that Tesla has a history of disproving “people in the know”. Otherwise, they would have never built any electric car.)

China is on track to change the filthy air quality. Get rid of all those Dirty Gas Heaters and get them off the streets forever. The World should Learn from China !

and yet, America will likely outsell China later this year, in numbers of EVs.

Can we get a China new OEM leaderboard at insideEVs? It’s too big to ignore and the major global driver for the future.

From article: “…Tesla Motors and their pie-in-the-sky China factory…”

Why is INSIDEEVs’ OP labeling Tesla’s plans for a factory in China as “pie-in-the-sky”?

“pie in the sky: used to describe or refer to something that is pleasant to contemplate but is very unlikely to be realized” source: google dictionary

More likely a Telsa factory in China would be the opposite:

Unpleasant to contemplate but is very likely to be realized.

This entire article is based on an almost total lack of understanding of the Chinese car market, and its conclusions are almost entirely wrong. The reality is that Chinese auto makers work like pop-up industries, appearing quickly and disappearing even faster. This is not a result of any plan by the central Chinese government. On the contrary, it’s a result of local protectionism within China, where the different Prefectures (semi-autonomous regions very roughly analogous to the States in the USA) and large municipalities, some of which are their own Prefectures. Altho the central Chinese government has been fighting against the trend, traditionally the various regions promote auto making and selling within their own borders, with protectionist regulations making it difficult or impossible to license a car bought outside the region. Tesla isn’t in any danger of competition from the hundreds of tiny, ephemeral, fly-by-night auto makers. The real problem is that such pop-up auto makers are strangling the ability of Chinese auto makers to grow. Only a few, such as BYD, have been able to grow to the size that might make them a real player, with enough market and income to last. The central Chinese government has been trying… Read more »

Much like the US then? Lots off start ups, a few grow big.

Separate states with separate wishes and a central government that divides the nation?

Except Michigan and Texas do not put a 50% tariff on cars made in California. Wait, they do not allow them to have stores within their border, so I guess it’s the same.

They have different emission standard… In a way, that can be perceived as California is favoring its own companies (Tesla)…

it is amazing how much today’s GOP looks like China and Putin.

And this is how traditional car brands are forgotten. If they don’t wake up they’ll miss boat on its first trip. It’s funny that people are more accepting to new car brands that are EVs than if they were ICE, I’m one of them but unfortunately I’m not in China to see more of them.

At the rate, the number is growing, I am sure half of these manufacturers will close in two years!. Just not sustainable as the cost to ramp up manufacturing is going to cost billions (of US$ not Yuan). Many spin-off of exististing ICE or hybrid manufacturers likely succeed as they have advantages in tech and cost.
But this start is a GOOD thing the Chinese government has done. No other country offer such incentives to a new industry that is destined to succeed.