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China is winning the race of electric vehicles

Written by Geoffrey Handley

As Tesla’s value continues to rise, it is easy to once again (and incorrectly) assume that leadership of this sector resides in the West.

It doesn’t.

More often than not, food is delivered to my home in Shanghai by one of Meituan.com’s 200,000 (yep! two hundred thousand.) strong delivery crew, every single one of them riding electric scooters.

1 Company

200k Staff


Meituan is just one player in a very competitive space. In this regard, they’re not unique. Electric scooters aren’t their ‘thing’ or part of their brand or USP.

In China, electric vehicles are table stakes, status quo. 

It’s part of the infrastructure. Not only Meituan or their competitors in food delivery, but for everyone.

As consumers, most Chinese have  never been faced with the decision of whether or not to go electric.

For years now electric has been and still is, the first – and for many – the only vehicle option.

All while the rest of the world continues to debate not only climate science but the inherent and obvious consumer and economic benefits of electric vehicles. And once again, putting whatever imaginary “rights” ahead of our very real and actual “responsibilities.”

In much the same way that this current first generation of digital or digital-first natives shape our future globally, when it comes to vehicles, transport, infrastructure and the culture of electric, intelligent and autonomous, China and Chinese are our planet’s first electric natives.

From an industry perspective I am reminded of a Q&A session w/Jack Ma. When asked about the many differences between Amazon and Alibaba, he talked scale, pointing out the running and capex costs associated with maintaining an ever growing fleet of petrol guzzling vehicles vs an efficient electric army. 

Logistics costs passed onto the consumer or borne by the shareholder throttling scale, even for giants.

The differences are huge. Aside from the obvious – electric being cheaper to run vs gas:

  • Costs to hedge or maintain actual petrol reserves.
  • Wear and tear, time / cost inefficient maintenance, service and spare parts.
  • Reliance on and on-going training of this service workforce in what is essentially dead tech.
  • Safety implications through capped / hardwired speed limits.
  • Actual capex cost of the fleet, whether your own or 3rd party.

All in all an inefficient waste of time, mind and capital solely to prop up an inefficient dead man walking industry out of self-serving nepotism, or worse, lack of will and foresight. Zombie rent seeking much?

Amazon is one of the main faces of the future in the West, a symbol of tomorrow. In that respect, when the torch bearer for leading and changing the world for the better is reliant on outdated, extractive and destructive methods of the past, it doesn’t really shout “let’s hear it for tomorrow!” does it….

Arguments around laws, legislation, subsidies, or even dare I say it, technology are not the solve. It’s culture, pure and simple.

Culture is the character and personality of your organization – company or country. It’s what makes your group unique and is the sum of its values, traditions, beliefs, interactions, behaviors, and attitudes.  Culture is at the bedrock of it all and the laws, legislations, subsidies are just outputs produced by the people all defined by it.

And China’s culture as the planet’s first electric transport native nation is the reason why the country is dominating this space.

A culture that is tangible and global, as demonstrated last week by the most Swedish of Swedish brands, Volvo, announcing that it will only produce electrified cars – in line with their Chinese parent Geely.

Let’s not forget, culture is, after all, the most valuable competitive advantage and a massive force multiplier.

That is why China has and will continue to drive our electric and autonomous future.


Ik research after this article :- 

The goal is  to have 5 million electric vehicles on the nation’s roads by 2020, thus making China a pacesetter in the field, is a tall order, but measures now being unfolded make it clear that the government means business. Such success will not only help rid big cities of smog, but also put the country on track to honor a pledge it made a year ago to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 60 percent to 65 percent of the 2005 level by 2030.

Six years ago China surpassed Japan as the world’s biggest carmaker. A year later it became the world’s biggest car market, and the country’s new energy car market now seems to be on the cusp of pulling off a similar feat. In the first seven months of this year about 90,000 new energy vehicles were sold in China, compared with about 63,000 in the US, the China Association of Auto Manufacturers says. 

Posted on October 21, 2017

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