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China wants to be in the driver’s seat for electric vehicles

I recently saw an article on Automotive News that profiles how China is the leading source for global investment into the electric vehicle and battery market. In the past year automotive parts manufacturer Wanxiang Group invested US$25 million equity in Smith Electric Vehicles.

Unlike the West, China’s adoption of electric motor technology isn’t simply driven by an environmentally friendly mindset. There is also the prestige associated with producing vehicles and it is the hallmark of most developed countries. The US has GM, Germany has Volkswagen, and Japan has Toyota just to name a few. China does not currently have an automobile manufacturer on par with those firms and realizes it never will compete if it follows the status quo of the auto industry. Instead China has done what many good business minds do and identified new trends where it can become a leader.

If China is to be believed, traditional combustion engines was where the auto industry has already been and the electric motor is where it is going. China is taking a risk by investing in technology like electric motors–but don’t be fooled. China is also the largest consumer of oil, surpassing the US in 2010, and is hedging its bets by investing heavily in fossil fuels as well.
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