China is one of the world’s main contributor of harmful emissions. China is also a world leader when it comes to pursuing sustainable technologies. Ford sees that, and has announced its intention to build an EV with its Chinese partner, Changan Auto.
Ford currently owns just a small slice of the Chinese auto market, which is currently the largest automotive market in the world, outpacing even U.S. sales. Yet there are generous incentives for plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles in China right now, and the market seems ripe to tap. The first company to produce a practical, affordable Chinese EV will have a huge advantage in the coming years…and that technology could be exported elsewhere, including the U.S.
Of course, this is all speculation on my part. Ford CEO Alan Mullaly made a comment during a groundbreaking event at a transmission plant in friday about building a Chinese EV with Changan Auto, but who knows when or how? Will it look like the Ford Start Concept? Will it be a cheaper version of the Focus Electric? Or will it be something new and different entirely? And perhaps most importantly….when will this happen? Because the first company to market with the right EV could reap the benefits for decades to come.
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.