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China's Giant Market for Micro Electric Vehicles

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发表于 9-22-2018 12:43:25 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
本帖最后由 choi 于 9-22-2018 12:46 编辑

Trefor Moss, China's Giant Market for Teeny, Tiny Cars; Minuscule electric vehicles are kings of the road -- no driver's license needed.Wall Street Journal, Sept 22, 2018.
https://www.wsj.com/articles/chi ... iny-cars-1537538585

Quote:

"in this town [Gaotang 山东省聊城市高唐县] of half a million people 200 miles south of Beijing

"Roughly 1.75 million micro-EVs [low-speed electric vehicles, or LSEVs] (微型)低速电动车 have been bought in China ;sat year, more than twice the sales of regular EVs, of round 777,000, industry executives estimate. Most of the tiny ones were sold in a handful of rural provinces. The market is still growing rapidly, with some 400 Chinese manufacturers building countless models.

"The government has lavished subsidies on Chinese EV makers. But the micro-EVs beloved in the countryside—cheap, slow and extremely low-tech—aren't what Beijing's mandarins had in minds. Indeed, many Chinese cities, including some near Gaotang, have banned them entirely, encouraging people to buy full-size EVs instead.


"Gaotang, which some see as the home of the low-speed EV [速度40-70 km/h or 25-43 miles/h].

"The tiny cars' detractors have two main gripes: They typically use cheap lead-acid batteries, which are bad for the environment, and they have no crash protection.

"In size terms, an LSEV would be only marginally smaller than the two-seat Smart car series built by Daimler AG. The comparison ends there, however. Smart cars, which can top 95 miles an hour, sell for about $15,000 and have advanced safety features, whereas the slow-moving mini EV's start at under $1,000 and lack any kind of crash protection.  But safety is relative, said Zhao Tongwei, a resident of nearby Jinan, shopping for a new ride at that city's annual LSEV expo in March. 'It's definitively safer than picking up your kids from school on a scooter,” said Zhao, whose wife relies on a minicar to get round town. “And in winter our son would get cold.”

"Occupying a legal grey area between scooters and cars, micro-EVs are able to use both roads and bicycle lanes to weave through traffic. Riding a small car in a bicycle lane certainly feels safe * * * , but on the road it's a different story: Full-size cars and trucks swerve around the slow-moving battery cars, horns honking and lights flashing.

"Jiujiuxing 久久星新能源智能轿车 [a micro-EV manufacturer in Gaotang] builds a mini-EV for every need. There's a miniature firetruck, a pint-size police car, and various minuscule passenger models starting at $1,000.  A peek inside the company's no-frills factory helps explain the rock-bottom prices: Workers fish parts out of huge cardboard boxes overflowing with wing-mirrors, wipers and steering wheels and then assemble the vehicles by hand, with not a robotic in sight.

My comment: The report is locked behind paywall. There is no need to read the rest, though.
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