The Strategist

Electric luxury at Shanghai motor show

04/20/2017 - 14:41

The international motor show, started in Shanghai this week, has already surprised its visitors with an abundance of prime electric cars from almost all the companies present at this event. At the same time, the current car dealers have one peculiarity: the richest Chinese middle class wants to buy cars of a luxury cars or SUVs, and Chinese authorities, concerned about the severe environmental situation in the cities, strongly "recommend" companies to sell more environmentally friendly cars. Against this backdrop, it is not surprising that the above-mentioned cars are presented the most widely.

Today, Volkswagen introduced the concept electric crossover I.D. Crozz at the Shanghai Motor Show. The electric car is built on a platform designed specifically for vehicles with electric motors. The all-wheel-drive crossover has got two electric motors with a total capacity of 302 liters: the front one with 101 liters, and the rear 201 liters. Batteries of 81 kW/h are located under the floor and are able provide a power reserve to drive 500 km.

Volkswagen’s premiere was just one of among many others at the Shanghai Salon. Every day is bringing news on premieres of various electric cars, with an emphasis on quite large-sized models. Today, Audi has shown in China its electric-SUV e-tron Sportback, which is a harbinger of a serial electric vehicle. The model is scheduled for release in 2019. A day earlier in Shanghai, Skoda showed its electric locomotive Vision E. 

Chinese companies have also kept up with the latest news: BYD showed its new Dynasty and Song EV300 SUVs equipped with electric motors, as well as a hybrid SUV Song DM. "The trend of electric vehicles cannot be reversed," Head of BYD Wang Chuanfu said at the new models’ presentation.

Experts note that abundance of luxury electric cars at the Shanghai Motor Show are not accidental. In September, the Chinese government, worried about the difficult environmental situation in large cities, issued new recommendations for automakers operating in the country. The new requirements scheduled for 2018 stipulate that profits from sales of electric batteries, electric vehicles or hybrids should be at least 8% of all profits received by a company in China. In 2019, this bar will rise to 10%, and in 2020 - to 12%. If these requirements are not met, automakers may be fined or otherwise sanctioned by the authorities.

Companies have no other way but to adjust themselves civen the volume of the Chinese car market. Ford has already announced start of sales a new hybrid Mondeo Energi by 2018 in China, and in Ford is going to release a fully developed electric SUV in the next five years. Volvo also said that it will manufacture its electric vehicles at a plant in China, from where they will be exported to other markets. "Volvo fully supports the Chinese government's policy on environmental cars," said Head of the company Håkan Samuelsson. "Our values correspond to the goals declared by the Chinese authorities." According to the South China Morning Post, General Motors plans to release at least ten hybrids and electric vehicles on the Chinese market by 2020, and Volkswagen - 13 such models. "All automakers working in China are trying to understand how they could be affected by the government's more stringent energy efficiency requirements," publication quotes James Chao, Shanghai representative of the research company IHS Markit Automotive.