News about China and cars isn't in short supply these days. With several of the world's largest cities, millions of cars on the road and huge problems with air pollution, it's no wonder that the nation is trying to make some changes. Along with decommissioning many of its aging vehicles, China is also expected to see huge growth in its electric vehicle market. BMW, as other automakers already have done, sees this as an opportunity to sell more cars.

"We expect that the Chinese car market for electromobility will become the largest markets for those cars in a few years," says Karsten Engel, BMW's China head. BMW is collaborating with Shanghai's State Grid municipal power company to put public EV charging points at the former World Expo site, and the city plans to create 45 more by the end of the year. These will charge many different vehicles made by BMW and other brands. Tesla, which began delivering its Model S to China last month, plans to build its own supercharger network for the country.

BMW plans to begin selling the battery-powered i3 and i8 plug-in hybrid in China this fall. BMW hopes to sell more than 400,000 vehicles in China this year. Fewer than 1,000 of those will be the i3, though, says Engel, due to a lack of supply.

So far, China is falling drastically behind its own targets to get EVs on the road. With a goal of 500,000 by 2015, fewer than 70,000 EVs are currently operating in China. This numbers gap doesn't necessarily mean that the demand is or isn't there yet, but more and more automakers are betting it will be, and soon. Volkswagen is planning a fleet of electrified models for China by 2018 (at least 15 models according to Bloomberg). Daimler is teaming up with China's BYD to build EVs (and, of course, Your Dreams). Other Chinese companies are getting into the game as well.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      danfred311
      • 2 Days Ago
      Who knew
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Days Ago
      They can't have a fast charger network because it take too much place and they don't have. A gas car stop 5 minutes once a week and a electric car stop daily for half an hour so it's a long term impossibility to have a lot of ev even if it's better for air quality. sorry folks, ev proponents are paid dreamer from big oïl stocks of wall street. there is too much money on the line trillions of profits to come from petrol and these investors are very active on a political level regulating the politic of transport, they succeeded to stop hydrogen since 1998.
        gpmp
        • 2 Days Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        How is it that big oil companies want EVs to succeed? Why would they when for $4,000 I can put enough solar panels on my roof to power my vehicle. No gas, no (net) utility electricity. No one to bleed me every week to fuel my car. And what could be better for air quality than fossil fuel free (after manufacture), sunshine fueled solar panels?
        NestT
        • 2 Days Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        They should succeed in stopping hydrogen cars since they are grotesquely inefficient. You can charge an EV while parked. Tesla will have a supercharger than can charge 1 mile per second in about 8 years. That is 300 miles in five minutes. EVs help secure China's energy independence. That political objective trumps any lobbying from the oilies.
        gpmp
        • 2 Days Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        How is it that big oil companies want EVs to succeed? Why would they when for $4,000 I can put enough solar panels on my roof to power my vehicle. No gas, no (net) utility electricity. No one to bleed me every week to fuel my car.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 2 Days Ago
      Oh my gosh, what will Mazda do? They have no EV's to sell.
      diffrunt
      • 2 Days Ago
      I wish you would quit making me queasy.
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Days Ago
      If i were them i would try hydrogen instead, every car manufacturer have said that hydrogen is better, the problem that they have said is the goverment have to help and regulate a hydrogen infrastructure which they did not do. It's been many years that i say to build a hydrogen infrastructure done with hydrogen electrolisis at the point of sale. China need it more then anyone else. They are late and limp, i won't go there for vacation. They even not even talk about it, their air suck, they import their petrol at high cost. Batteries are a fail everywhere so it would be a fail in china too. It's impossible to build a fast charger infrastructure because it take too much space.
        paulwesterberg
        • 2 Days Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        You mean that manufacturers want governments to pay for hydrogen infrastructure that will then be owned by oil companies. So hydrogen vehicles don't require parking spaces?
      diffrunt
      • 2 Days Ago
      I wish you would quit making me queasy.
      diffrunt
      • 2 Days Ago
      I wish you would quit making me queasy.