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China and the imaginary EV “market”

With headlines like these, you might think that electric vehicles are competitive:

China holds the keys to the electric car revolution –

In the third quarter, global sales of electric vehicles (EVs) soared 63 percent”

–Business Insider

You might think your nation is way behind:

Australia debates value of electric vehicles while China pushes ahead

In 2017, 652,000 plug-in battery cars were sold in China, up 59 per cent, or almost half of worldwide sales.

–Sydney Morning Herald

But then there is this:

Tax incentives for electric vehicles were stopped in Hong Kong, and sales collapsed

Tesla car sales in Hong Kong fell from 2000 to just 300 cars in one year, a crushing indictment of their competitiveness and … No wait, it’s worse:

Data from Hong Kong´s Transport Department shows Tesla sales fell to just 32 between April and December 2017, a dramatic decline from the near 2,000 sales notched up over the same period of 2016.

The removal of tax incentives in Hong Kong almost doubled the price of some Tesla models.

In total, including non-Tesla models, just 99 electric cars were registered in Hong Kong over the last nine months of 2017.

It’s rare we see the complete evaporation of a market. In Denmark, when subsidies stopped, sales of EV’s and hybrids only fell by 60%.

Holey Moley, look at those government incentives?

We get some idea of why so many Chinese people are “willing” to buy EV’s by reading the SMH. By Kirsty Needham:

Beijing’s annual quota for conventional tail-pipe licence plates was more than halved this year, from 90,000 to 40,000, and the capital is among seven major Chinese cities to restrict conventional licence plates. Would-be drivers wait years in an annual lottery. Those willing to get behind the wheel of an electric vehicle wait just a few months, with 60,000 plates on offer.

Once she had the plates, Ms Dan went shopping. Government subsidies brought the price of her zippy white car with electric blue hub caps down to 70,000 Chinese yuan ($A13,800).

Is this writer, Kirsty Needham, a journalist for the SMH or a PR marketer for the EV industry?

Lecture coming:

In Australia, the Turnbull government is debating the merits of electric cars, with conservative Liberal and National politicians pushing back against the suggestion of government subsidies while complaining about the impact on fuel tax excise and the environmental cost of electric vehicles if they are charged using coal fired electricity. Meanwhile China is simply getting on with converting its enormous fleet.

Greenpeace interview following:

Greenpeace’s China energy analyst Lauri Myllyvirta: “The share of coal in the electricity mix is on track to fall below 50 per cent by 2030, which is the earliest that you could expect a substantial share of the car fleet to be electric,”…

“The popular simplification that China’s power generation comes almost exclusively from coal is no longer true, and emissions from manufacturing and charging an EV – as well as from manufacturing a gasoline car – are falling at a significant rate in China.”

So sometime after 2030, if any of today’s Chinese EVs are still running then, they will be only 50% coal fired.


h/t GWPF

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