SHANGHAI (Apr. 24, 2013) – Nissan's local Chinese brand, Venucia, unveiled its electric VIWA concept car at the Shanghai Auto Show, hoping to ride on the government's plan to popularize zero-emissions technology.
"VIWA is a concept electric car we want to provide for more people to use in the future," said Ren Yong, deputy managing director of Dongfeng Nissan.
"Therefore, its distance per charge should not be a concern for consumers and it must be affordable after government subsidies."
China has been aggressive in its push to get EVs on its roads to address the country's air quality, but uptake has remained slow.
"For electric vehicles (EVs) to take off in China, it's the same story as anywhere else in the world: the government has to be very, very generous with subsidies, invest in charging stations, and assure consumers that, 'Hey, you buy an EV, you are in good hands.' That's not happened yet," said industry expert Michael Dunne, president of Dunne & Company.
EV pilot programs are under way in 25 Chinese cities, and the government plans to utilize the trial feedback in a national strategy. Ambitious goals remain though for the world's largest auto market: 500,000 electric cars by 2015 and 5 million by 2020.
"It's still in a nurturing stage. We, together with the government and power suppliers, will work on various aspects to create the environment and make it commercially viable," added Ren.
"We have started to introduce rental of EV taxis in cities like Guangzhou and Dalian."
It's still early days for China's electric dream, but big bets are down on the technology to succeed, while Venucia hopes to lead the charge when it does.
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