China NEV Weekly Episode 8: ORA is a Great Wall and Xiyate is Not a Seat

China NEV Weekly

The Chinese NEV market moves at full speed ahead, time thus for China NEV Weekly Episode 8. Today with a Seat that isn’t a Seat, an ORA, and yet another electric supercar. Here we go:

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China NEV Weekly Episode 7: Las Vegas, Lifan, and LvChi

China NEV Weekly Episode 7

Happy New Year! No time to waste: we continue with a new episode of China NEV Weekly, bringing you the latest New Energy Vehicles from China. This week, we start in Las Vegas:
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Toyota rolls out “BEVs in earnest.”

BEVs in earnest. Picture (c) Bertel Schmitt

The common narrative among the disruption-demographic is that large “legacy” automakers are asleep at their four wheels. The not-so-common version is: Step aside when they wake up. The step-aside moment was today, when world’s largest automaker Toyota laid out its electrification plans.

In a press conference at Toyota’s Megaweb in Tokyo, EVP Shigeki Terashi started out complaining to reporters that some of his limelight was stolen during Akio Toyoda’s announcement of a battery joint venture with Panasonic. Then he revealed that: [Continue Reading]

China NEV Weekly Episode 6: A bang and a Byton

China NEV Weekly

We continue with a new episode of China NEV Weekly, bringing you the latest New Energy Vehicles from China. This week with a bang, a Byton, and Ford’s new friend.

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That’s going to hurt Elon Musk: Battery-partner Panasonic romantically involved with Toyota

The happy couple meets the press. Picture (c) Bertel Schmitt

Tesla-chief Elon Musk should need a few extra Ambiens tonight after he hears the news from Tokyo. His Gigafactory battery partner Panasonic today announced some sort of engagement with the world’s largest automaker Toyota, with the goal of developing the best batteries for EVs, the type of batteries that definitely are not on the table in the domestic partnership between Tesla and Panasonic. Will it lead to a giga-divorce?

Officially, Toyota and Panasonic today announced a rather innocuous-sounding “agreement to begin studying the feasibility of a joint automotive prismatic battery business,” and Tesla’s propaganda arms undoubtedly will assure the faithful that nothing is to be feared from it, and that, should it unexpectedly lead to something, “Elon will have it first.”

If you went to today’s press conference on the matter, you went home thereafter with a totally different impression.  The presser was called with only four hours of notice, always a sign that something important is afoot. We were invited not to come to Toyota’s usual basement-bunker meeting room, but to the grand ballroom at Tokyo’s swank Conrad. Despite the tight timing, every seat was taken.  So enormous was the occasion, that Toyota even laid on a feature-length YouTube video.

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China NEV Weekly Episode 5: Bangle and the World Cup

 

Welcome to another episode of China NEV Weekly, with the latest New Energy Vehicles from China. This week with Chris Bangle, the World Cup, and a fake Picasso.

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China NEV Weekly, Episode 4: Pickup Your BingGo

China NEV Weekly

Welcome to Episode 3 of the China NEV Weekly, where we look at the latest New Energy Vehicles from China. This week with pickup trucks, a Hozon, and we are going to play bingo!

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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]