China’s leadership in Electronic Vehicles (EVs) began in 2000 when A.T. Kearney China (under my leadership) contributed a feasibility study to the 863 EV project (with Prof. Dr. Wan Gang as Chief Scientist.) This study was made accessible to all major OEMs worldwide and kicked off the global race for green mobility.
I remember when, in the early phase of the 863 EV project, GM’s JV partner in China was highly sceptical. China was making efforts to co-operate with international companies while in America, GM’s management demonstratively destroyed their electric car model in Detroit and published a press release to end their EV initiative.
In light of this, it seems rather ironic how the American political establishment is now “demonizing” China’s EV achievements. China is repeatedly cast as the enemy in the race taking America’s win.
Visiting the Ford Motor Co. Rouge Electric Vehicle Center on May 18th, 2021, President Joe Biden presented two options: Spend around $174 billion and speed ahead to dominate the burgeoning electric vehicle market, or cede the race to China.
The U.S. makes around 12% of the world’s chips and is home to only four lithium-ion battery factories, compared with 93 in China. “Right now, China is leading in this race. Make no bones about it, it’s a fact,” said Biden, adding the United States used to lead in research and development globally but has dropped behind China and six other countries. “The future is going to be determined by the best minds in the world, by those who break through new barriers.” [Source]
On May 29, 2021, Prof. Dr. Wan Gang reviewed the successful history of electric vehicles in China, hoping that political elites in West, especially in the United States, would understand that: “Chinese new energy vehicle projects (pure electric, plug-in hybrid, fuel cell vehicles) have always been open internationally, and the new electronic vehicle market and industry were the first to open up to the world. We hope that new energy vehicles can contribute to low-carbon travel around the world.”