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China Looks to Global EVs for Its Local Electric Compliance Cars | PluginCars.com

It’s a Nissan LEAF, but re-badged with the Chinese Venucia brand.
Familiar-looking plug-in electric vehicles may be seen on roads in China in the next few years. Among the vehicles on display at the recent Guangzhou Auto Show in southern China were a Chinese version of the Nissan LEAF and an electric version of the BMW X1. Both were produced via the foreign automakers’ joint ventures in China. Also the latest iteration of the Denza pure electric vehicle, produced at the Daimler-BYD joint venture, was on display.

Does this mean foreign automakers believe China will be a hotbed for electric vehicle sales? Probably not. These vehicles are more likely “compliance cars,” produced to please the Chinese government, which is promoting vehicle electrification in China. Producing the cars domestically through a joint venture will qualify the vehicles for government subsidies.

“It seems the strategy in play is to leverage the JV brand mandate to add foreign EV technology to the market,” Bill Russo, president of consultancy Synergistics Ltd. told PluginCars.com. “This helps the Chinese access the foreign EV technology while the foreign player has a way to access the EV subsidies with a local brand.”

China has been pursuing electrification for more than a decade, and has released a series of plans that set target production and sales goals and subsidies for purchase of electric vehicles. The most recent plan, which covers 2013-2015, was released a few months ago.

Only Via Joint Efforts

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