Chinese auto startup Nio just had its $1 billion US initial public offering. While the share price fluctuates, investors ask the same question: will the Shanghai-based upstart supplant Tesla as the world’s top luxury electric car brand? Like Tesla, its cars offer sleek, space-age designs. It also has a flair for marketing stunts: in Nio’s case, setting the fastest lap ever recorded by an electric car at Germany’s Nürburgring. But Nio is offering cutting-edge technology at jaw-dropping prices. Its ES8, priced at RMB 448,000 ($70,000), costs only around half as much as a Tesla Model X does in China.
Chile’s Atacama Desert is one of the most inhospitable places on earth. Situated 2,300 meters above sea level and encircled by mountains, the region receives almost no rainfall and the blinding sun singes exposed human skin within minutes. But 40 meters below the salt flats lie our planet’s largest and purest reserves of the chemical element lithium. Lithium, the lightest of all metals, has the best electrochemical potential. This makes it perfect for rechargeable batteries, a technology that powers our smartphones and is expected to become even more crucial in the future. Now, a Chinese firm is attempting to gain control of the Atacama reserves.
Like its whole economy, China’s auto market grew at breakneck pace in the 2000s, and while it is slowing down, it still contains enormous potential in terms of both raw sales and innovation as China shifts toward electric. The Chinese government is actively promoting new-energy vehicles, offering subsidies that amount to about 23% of the price of a vehicle. And consumers, many of whom no longer consider car ownership as a status symbol, are more willing to buy electric cars. Yet despite favorable policies and growing market demand, there are challenges ahead: lack of power stations, fragmented manufacturing of power batteries and insufficient innovation.
The Fall 2014 issue of CKGSB Knowledge is out! It has articles and interviews like: COVER STORY: Around the World: In a circuitous way, billions of dollars rely on an international game of legal cat and mouse. China’s top companies use variable interest entities, but now the Alibaba IPO is shining a light on this legal grey area. CHINA BY NUMBERS: From […]
Will the ‘fair price’ strategy help electric car manufacturer Tesla in China? Elon Musk, the maverick founder and CEO of the Silicon Valley-headquartered electric car maker Tesla Motors, has had his eyes on China for a while now. Last year, he called the China market a “wild card” in the company’s future. In January this […]
Can China meet its electric vehicle goals? By 2015, the Chinese government would like the automotive industry to produce more than 500,000 electric vehicles per year, to help reduce environmental degradation and give China a leading role in the next generation of global automotive production. But so far, it hasn’t gone well. Given that only […]