Don’t even think it: No, China is not caving in to Tesla

Customs checkpoint at the Xiamen Free Trade Zone. Picture courtesy brics2017.org

When you read this, you probably have heard that China is doing away with its requirement that foreign automakers need a 50:50 Chinese partner before they can make automobiles in the Middle Kingdom, the only legal way to avoid the country’s egregious 25% import tax. You will also have heard that this will open the gates to Tesla’s ultimate domination of the world’s largest car market, and especially of the world’s largest electric car market. If you haven’t heard, you certainly will.

There is only one problem: It is not true. Car companies indeed will be able to build EVs on Chinese soil, and on their own, but they won’t get around the tax, and therefore won’t be competitive with indigenous products. [Continue Reading]

China NEV Weekly, Episode 3: Electric sports cars, electric Trucks

Welcome to Episode 3 of the China NEV Weekly, where we look at the latest New Energy Vehicles from China. Today with electric sports cars, trendy electric minis, and big electric trucks. Yes, trucks. Been there, done that.

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Nissan sells some 14,000 of the new electric LEAF in its first month

Nissan domestic sales chief Asako Hoshino: “Sold 9,600 LEAF in Japan.” (c) Bertel Schmitt

The new 2018 Nissan LEAF went on sale in Japan on October 1st, “and demand was strong to say the least,” rejoices InsideEVs. “Better still, Nissan knows what to do with demand – fill it! What is “simply amazing” is how Nissan shows it in September, then sells the pants off it in October. For October, the LEAF set a new all-time sales record with 3,629 deliveries! Making the LEAF the 19th bestselling car in Japan for the month.”

Wait until InsideEVs hears this:

Including pre-orders, the LEAF actually sold 9,600 units in Japan in October. Together with a little over 4,000 LEAFs sold in Europe, Nissan’s 2nd generation EV found around 14,000 happy buyers globally by end of October, and wait until it comes to the U.S., where it should be available in January.

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No production hell at Jaguar’s I-Pace. “All peaceful,” insider says

Trundling peacefully down the line in Graz, Austria, on pace for a timely launch: The Jaguar I-Pace

Concerned that Elon Musk’s production hell might be contagious, and that it could be spreading to other EV manufacturers, I checked-in with a knowledgeable contact close to Jaguar’s I-Pace program. Jaguar’s I-Pace is an upcoming premium-EV that is already sold out months before its arrival sometime in 2018, and according to its father, Wolfgang Ziebart, the I-Pace is a “Tesla-beater.” Might the I-Pace also be delayed somewhere at the bottom of a stepped exponential S-curve, I asked.

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China NEV Weekly, episode 2: Blue is the new green in red China

China NEV Weekly

Welcome to Episode 2 of the China NEV Weekly, where we look at the latest New Energy Vehicles from China. While Tesla fans may have to wait years for their Model 3, there rarely is a week without new EVs, cranked-out by bustling Chinese OEMs. This week in CNW: NextEV goes downmarket, an (oh, dear) electric coffee car, EVs for less than the (possibly expiring) federal tax credit, and blue is the new green, also in red China.

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China NEV Weekly, episode 1: EVs with Chinese characteristics

Welcome to the China NEV Weekly, where we look at the latest New Energy Vehicles from China. NEV is an official government classification that includes three kinds of vehicles: EVs, PHEV, and hydrogen cars.

NEVs are subsidized by the central and local government to a maximum of about 90,000 yuan ( $13,570). On top of that, many cities offer extra perks including free license plates and free parking lots.

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Success of EVs threatened by cobalt-crisis, and China

Children in a mine in Katanga, picture courtesy France24.com

The drive to electric driving could be driven off a cliff by two unsettling trends: An impending shortage of rare minerals needed to make the batteries, and a more than obvious attempt by the Chinese government to rig, and eventually corner the nascent EV market. [Continue Reading]

Model S September’s top-selling BEV in Western Europe. That’s the good news

Model S in Norway. Picture by Matthias Schmidt

AID, the must-have newsletter for people in need of unvarnished automobile sales data, has an explosive mix of good-news / bad-news for Tesla friends and foes alike. Tesla is racking up impressive sales gains in the world’s second-largest battery-electric EV market. That’s the good news. The not-so-good news is that if Elon Musk won’t act fast, the sudden gains are liable to evaporate, writes AID publisher Matthias Schmidt. [Continue Reading]