Archives – April 27, 2013

China’s Hybrid Market

China is finally taking into serious consideration delving into the manufacture of plug-in hybrids as it struggles to ease up pressure on its fossil fuels deposits. Finally, they are entering a turf largely dominated by their rivals in Japan, including Toyota, whose models have gained popularity the world over.

Breathing Life into the Chinese Hybrid Market

Already, Chinese Automakers SAIC Motor and Brilliance Automotive have started development on the gasoline-electric car system that was first introduced to the world by Toyota. BYD, another car manufacturer based in the Asian superpower, where Warren Buffet also has controlling stakes, have already self-engineered technology that will be unveiled at the much-hyped Shanghai Auto Show. The administration is also kicking life into the car policies it introduced, with the aim of conserving energy, by subsidising the traditional hybrids. With the policy in full effect, it is expected that nearly 500 thousand cars will be on the road, specifically cars that have been defined as all electric, heavily electrifies or near all electric by the end of 2015. Their goal is to raise this figure to 5 million by the end of 2020.

In the past year, about 12,000 hybrid pieces were purchased in total. Experts in the Chinese car industry find that the goals set will be a little too lofty for the government unless the administration is willing to adjust itself when it comes to the redefinition of hybrid cars and also begins to embrace the current hybrid technology as the more sustainable options. After all, said Peter Huang, an IHS associate director, all electric technology is not likely to be realised in the foreseeable future.

A New Perspective on Hybrid Models

Further efforts stemming from Beijing included attractive incentive plans on new purchases that were concluded last year. The program, fortunately, is up for renewal with whispers within the industry leaking that the government will most likely increase hybrid subsidies. As it tries to claw off the firm grip that China has on fossil fuels, the government will incentivise as much as it can. Previously alternative energy car owners received a $490 rebate on their initial purchase, which when compared to the $9800 rebate that was received upon the purchase of all electric models, was not at all attractive. For the government to realise its goals for much cleaner air, for the billion plus citizens it has to provide for, they will have to revise their policies. The money set aside for rebate upon purchase of all electric cars goes to waste since only few people buy them anyway. They would much rather direct the money to the purchase of the traditional hybrid models.



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Shanghai Auto Show 2013

A directive by the European Union will require that carbon emissions by new cars be regulated to less than 95g for every kilometer, much less than the current 135g/km. At the Shanghai Auto Show, this message seems to have been received loud and clear where an assortment of eco-friendly cars is on display. There are 91 models that rely on new energy on display with 35 of them being manufactured in China.

Luxury Automakers’ Contribution to the Hybrid World

Luxury carmakers at the event also showed off their prowess when it comes to green technology, with the German Automakers, BMW, displaying their active hybrid concept. Mercedes also showed off their BluEfficiency technology at the show that is currently on-going. Audi and Lexus showed that they were ready to seize the hybrid world with their models, the Audi Q5 hybrid and the Lexus GS300h and ES300h, which are on for mass production.

Sports car makers that usually have their interests leaning towards churning out race cars for off the track driving, also delved into the greener era with Ferrari unveiling the LeFerrari and the Lamborghini Veneno as some of hyper-hybrids on the market. British carmaker Aston Martin, is also receiving orders for its very own alternative sports car. Maybe all these efforts have been sparked by the sudden urge to save mother Earth, or perhaps it is the driving credits that these manufacturers earn should they produce cars with less than 50g/km emission ratings. The law however, exempts car makers that produce fewer than 1000 cars annually and that would therefore mean that the Rolls-Royce manufacturers, as wells as the Bentley can rest easy.

All-Electric Concept

There are also other manufacturers who are taking the entire hybrid concept to a completely new level with the production of all-electric cars. Volvo seems to really believe in the pay off of their efforts in this sector, but they confess they will be realized much further into the future. They have a number of joint ventures including the BMW’s mini E and the Zinoro from the BMW-Brilliance Automotive, as well. If the infrastructure of electric cars is fully developed however, the future will be a witness to zero-emissions and 100% clean driving. Detroit Electric, a sports car manufacturer based in the U.S., share in Volvo’s vision and has its future neatly placed upon the success of electric cars. They exclusively manufacture electric luxury cars. Other advantages that come with the electricity powered cars include fast acceleration, agile response and quiet and smooth engine operation.




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