China has the most competitive automakers in the world.
As Tesla CEO Elon Musk (50) praised at the World New Energy Vehicles Conference held in September this year, the EV market is now revolving around China. In fact, of the 2.6 million vehicles sold worldwide in the first half of 2009, 1.1 million were Chinese.
On the other hand, a social problem has emerged in the rural suburbs. Take a look at the photo. This is a large number of abandoned EV sharing cars in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province in eastern China. Such “EV graveyards” are popping up one after another in China, with more than 2,000 cars abandoned at large scale.
Treffer Moss, a long-time reporter for the Wall Street Journal who covers China’s auto industry, reveals that “the Chinese government announced in ’15 that it was planning to build more than 2,000 EVs in China.
The Chinese government announced a plan to boost production of new energy vehicles, including EVs, by 2013 in its “China Manufacturing 2025” plan launched in 2003. In order to support the initial investment of companies, a huge amount of subsidies totaling 1.5 trillion yen will be invested. In particular, in order to provide the public with the opportunity to drive EVs, the car-sharing business was heavily supported, and over 500 venture companies flooded the market.
However, when the subsidies ended in 2008, the excessive number of venture companies all went bankrupt. In the process, only a large number of sharing cars were left behind.
As a result of the rapid growth, a large number of cars have been abandoned in the suburbs, which has become a social problem. An executive of a local car manufacturer that sells custom parts says that there is another reason for the failure of the car-sharing business.
The fact that cab apps have been in full swing since ’19 is another reason why EV car sharing hasn’t taken off. Originally, EVs were not suitable for long-distance travel, so they were not suitable for car sharing. The appearance of practical cab apps there seems to have brought them to a sudden halt.
Also, as used cars, they have no buyers. In China, development progresses at an ever-evolving pace, so after a year or two, they quickly become obsolete. Even if we wanted to sell them at a discount, we could not find any buyers.
While new products are being produced one after another, the ” EV graveyard” continues to grow.
From the November 26, 2021 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Alamy stock photo