Electric transport and infrastructure company ECOtality has made a move to expand its manufacturing and distribution operations for electric vehicle charging systems in China by entering into a joint venture with the Chinese firm Shenzhen Goch Investment to establish a manufacturing base in China.
In return for a $10 million investment, Shenzhen Goch Investment will have exclusive sale and distribution rights for ECOtality’s charging stations in China.
The Chinese government has instituted incentives designed to leapfrog the gasoline-based car industry. The state electricity grid has been ordered to set up electric car charging stations in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, and government research subsidies for electric car designs are increasing rapidly in China.
And an interagency panel is planning tax credits for consumers who buy alternative energy vehicles. Already the Chinese government is offering subsidies of up to $8,800 to taxi fleets and local government agencies in 13 Chinese cities for each electric (or hybrid) vehicle they purchase. Shah Agassi’s Better Place is also moving into the potential tipping point Chinese EV charging market.
The New York Times noted a report by McKinsey & Company last fall estimated that replacing a gasoline-powered car with a similar-size electric car in China would reduce greenhouse emissions by “only 19 percent” (since the country gets three quarters of its electricity from coal).
But 19 percent is actually a pretty sizable reduction in carbon emissions. And there is always the chance; (by adding more wind and solar on a massive scale) of being able to increasingly green the grid in the future.
By contrast, gasoline cars will increasingly run on rivers of blood as we begin to scrape the bottom of the peak oil barrel.
Image via ECOtality