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China Slows On Electric Cars To Focus On Fuel Efficiency

Several years ago, the U.S. auto industry worried that Chinese carmakers would use inexpensive cars to gain a foothold here, just as Japanese and Korean makers had done.

That hasn’t happened, for many reasons–one being that making cars good enough to sell here is remarkably hard.

More recently, the Detroit Three worried that Chinese makers would leapfrog the industry to dominate electric-car production, backed by Chinese government policy encouraging so-called “new energy” vehicles.

That hasn’t happened either.

Last summer, China began to reassess its plans to put 1 million electric cars on the roads by 2015 (the same goal, coincidentally, pursued by President Obama).

The country is adjusting its definition of “new energy vehicles” to include not only plug-in vehicles but conventional hybrids and more fuel-efficient conventional cars
While some estimates still expect the country to put as many as 350 million vehicles on its roads by 2050, the near-term fuel for those cars is likely to be the same thing it is everywhere else: gasoline.


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