Car manufacturers have flocked to Guangzhou for the Auto Guangzhou 2016 show, which promises to showcase the latest vehicle technology from companies all over the world, including China. The latest trend in vehicle manufacturing is the ‘Zero Emission Vehicle’ (ZEV) and this is definitely proving the case at the show, with multiple manufacturers showcasing their take on how future ZEVs may look and what we have to look forward to when the oil runs out!
The show encompasses 220,000 square metres of floor space and is also home to companies that wish to support the growing infrastructure required for electric vehicles to be a sustainable and user friendly mode of transport. This has, obviously, got to be looked at in conjunction with the approach of private companies, national governments and local councils in allowing such infrastructure to be placed on private property, public roads and in carparks in order for it to be feasible and cost effective, which will be something of a result in any case!
Sales of electric and ZEVs have, up to now, generally been artificially boosted by government subsidies provided to make the purchase more attractive. Batteries and the technology employed by the vehicles themselves is still fairly expensive, without the economies of scale able to be used when producing traditional fossil fuel powered vehicles. Due to the increasing demand for ZEVs, especially from companies such as Tesla, governments have been quietly reducing or dropping the subsidies, which has reduced the attractiveness for buyers and lowered the number of ZEVs sold throughout the world.
Chinese manufacturers such as Geely and Chery Automobiles have been attempting to enhance the mileage range of their newer models to reduce ‘range anxiety’ and also reduce fuel consumption in hybrid models whilst keeping performance acceptable – no mean feat, you’ll agree! Hydrogen fuel-cell technology was also being showcased by Japanese manufacturer Toyota in the shape of the Mirai, but this type of technology still has a little way to go until it becomes even as mainstream as ‘normal’ electric vehicles.
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