A new electric car made by China's Great Wall Motor displayed at the ongoing Shanghai auto show. [CFP]
With concern of a green future and in answer to the Chinese government's appeal for energy-efficiency, global and domestic automobile manufacturers are showcasing their electric car models at the ongoing Shanghai auto show.
Troubled carmaker General Motors is displaying the production version of its Chevrolet Volt - a vehicle that delivers up to 64 km of gasoline and emission-free electric driving.
The Volt, expected to be introduced in China by 2011, uses electricity stored in its 16-kWh, lithium-ion battery to move the wheels at all times and speeds.
"Bringing the Volt to China shortly after its debut in the United States in 2010 is part of GM's commitment to sharing our latest achievements in energy diversity with our second-largest market," said Kevin Wale, president and managing director of GM China. "It will take China one step closer to its goals of clean transportation and energy freedom."
Battery and car supplier BYD Auto, backed by US billionaire investor Warren Buffett, has three electric models - F3DM, F6DM and e6 on display at the show.
The company has sold more than 80 F3DM electric cars, the first mass-produced model in the world, priced at around $22,000 each, to the Shenzhen government for tests before public use.
"We have cooperated with local government to set up around twenty 220V-charger pillars in parking lots around offices and residential areas," said Yang.
"The next step is to establish a charging station with 380V input. This will provide quick charging in 10 minutes and make the battery 70 percent full, enabling driving the car up to 70 km."
Hebei-based Great Wall Motor unveiled its GWKulla all-electric car, with plans to enter the market next year, while Chery debuted its concept battery car - the Riichi M1.
China relies on imports for nearly half of its oil. "If China continues current growth rates it will almost double oil imports by 2030," said a McKinsey report released at the end of last year. "But greater use of electric cars would cut this growth by around a quarter."
Considering the huge green potential in China, German luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz is showcasing its electric concept car BlueZERO, which can run on batteries or fuel cells.
"The flexible BlueZERO concept allows electro-mobility for every requirement, and highlights the fact that Mercedes-Benz is the world's only car manufacturer to already have in place all the key technologies for electric cars offering full everyday practicality," said Dieter Zetsche, chairman of Daimler AG and head of Mercedes-Benz.
Another German carmaker BMW is exhibiting its near-zero emission electric car Mini Cooper E at the show, slated for mass-production in 2010.
Japanese automaker Nissan and Toyota are also displaying their electric concept cars at the Shanghai auto show.