<..."/>Who Has The Largest Electric Vehicle Market Now

Automotive

Published on January 10th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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Who Has The Largest Electric Vehicle Market Now

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This is the question many European and North American car manufacturers are asking. The answer will soon be China. Government subsidies and other measures has helped all-electric car sales soar nearly fivefold in China to 113,810 in the first 10 months of 2015. That puts China on track to soon overtake the U.S. as the largest market for electric cars (EV). It is unclear, however, how competitive China’s new EV startups will be.

Even if technical hurdles can be overcome, Tesla has significant first-mover advantage, especially in terms of branding and share of mind as an innovator in the industry. Others who come later risk being seen as lagging followers by consumers.

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The unnamed CEO of an auto company, who did due diligence for possible investments in China’s automotive start, said he decided against it.

Those startups perhaps have talent good enough to design and engineer electric cars, he said. But they lack the full breadth of expertise, which includes being able to procure a full range of components and systems to commercialize their design and manufacture them properly, and that’s not easy.

A key question remains over whether the battery-powered EV is the right path for the future.

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Japan and its many automotive firms, for example, are jostling for supremacy in how future electric cars should generate power. Unlike China, which is pushing for battery-powered cars, Japan is betting on other sources of electricity, including hydrogen fuel cells.

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