The Future for EV Vehicles in China

Mitsubishi_Electric_CarBloomberg reports that the government in China may give as much as 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) in funding to build electric-vehicle charging facilities with the hope of spurring demand for clean cars, according to two sources who asked not to be named. Carmakers coping with consumer concerns over the reliability and cost of electric cars would benefit greatly from increased state funding. In addition, it would build on tax breaks to fight pollution and cultivate the EV industry in China, which is the world’s biggest carbon emitter.

This is the first of two blog posts that will share thoughts about the news from Zintro experts. First up is Rhino Guerrero, an electrical engineer from the Philippines:

Electric cars are already on the roads of China. In fact, China has been manufacturing e-cars already. Just surf the internet for China-made e-cars and you will find nice-looking e-cars of various forms and sizes.

However, the Chinese public is not so keen on e-cars for obvious reasons. One, it takes a much longer time to charge an e-car’s battery than to refill a gasoline tank. Typically, Chinese-made e-cars charge up in a little less than six hours. Two, there is not much charging stations in the country. Three, when these e-cars start to breakdown, where can the e-car owners turn to for repair and how much would it cost?

The Chinese government’s plan to fund for the construction of e-vehicle charging facilities is a wise move. However, it would be much better if these charging facilities were made into BATTERY EXCHANGE facilities, where e-car owners can just drive in to have their batteries replaced with fully-charged ones. This, of course, requires that e-cars be designed such that the batteries can be easily pulled out and plugged in, which should not be a difficult thing to do.

Lastly, it is important that there would be enough technicians to fix these high-tech cars. Conventional automotive mechanics are no longer fit to handle this job. What is needed are electro-mechanics, who can handle the electronics and mechanical systems of the car.

I remember a few years back, everybody in our place was so excited in converting their gasoline-powered cars to LPG. It didn’t take long before excitement was replaced with dismay and regret when their LPG-powered cars started to breakdown, which they blamed on LPG. They are absolutely right in putting the blame on LPG, because the wrong conversion kits (obsolete) were installed by the wrong (untrained) people. Furthermore, there were no experts technicians to handle the repair and maintenance of the LPG converted cars at that time. Now they are converting their cars back to gasoline and swear never to think about LPG again.

Yes, electric vehicles are the way to go, not just for China but for everyone else. However, this has to be a calculated move so as not to jeopardize the economy and the people in the internal combustion engine industry and petroleum industry.

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