Volvo announces plans to export China-made electric car

As evidenced by the slew of electrified cars debuting at the Shanghai show, the country is looking toward electrification as a solution to air quality and congestion issues.

With about 45 percent of passenger vehicle sales in China dominated by foreign brands such as Volkswagen, GM, Ford, Toyota and Honda, domestic brands are aiming to boost performance by capturing the SUV market.

Expect the new electric Volvo XC40 (or whatever it's called) to arrive in 2019 and cost from around £35,000. But at the same time, it is cutting subsidies on green cars by a fifth this year, a move that could deepen manufacturers' losses on such models and discourage consumers from buying them.

Geely launched a premium brand - Lykn & Co - and its 01 SUV will go on sale later this year.

Volvo also confirmed they are working on a bigger EV based on the SPA Platform which underpins the new 60 Series cars and the 90 Series range.

Also eying expansion overseas is GAC, which is planning a U.S. debut in 2019, according to General Manager Yu Jun.

China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group lifted the wraps on a new sedan concept for Lynk & CO ahead of the Shanghai auto show, saying the upstart tech-laden automotive brand will offer lifetime. Total vehicle sales in China topped 24.3 million past year.

Kia's K2 Cross SUV
Kia's K2 Cross SUV

However, the market is growing fast.

If this trend continues, we may see the projected global shift to electric cars happen a lot sooner than expected, which would be great news for the environment. On Tuesday, the night before the opening of the event, the Japanese automaker revealed that it will begin road testing its fuel cell vehicle, the Mirai, in China in October.

Volvo's first all-electric auto was earlier said to be built on the same platform, which underpins the Volvo S90. It also aims to launch another 10 electric vehicles between 2020 and 2025. The German automaker announced a self-driving, electric concept auto as well as a partnership with an AI company. It features a battery that can be charged to 80 percent of capacity in 30 minutes. It has chosen two unusual means to do that, via China exports and a major foray into the electric vehicle market.

Skoda is planning to unveil its first NEV, the Vision E, at the show. It has lithium ion batteries which allow a range of up to 500 kilometers.

"We will decide how to divide up the tasks on a case-by-case basis, but of course this will include capacities to develop electric cars here in China", Zetsche said.

When it comes to the global vehicle market, no single event quite reflects the change in auto manufacturers' global emphasis than Auto China, the motor show that alternates annually between Beijing and Shanghai and this year takes place in the country's financial capital.

"Communities", such as companies or residential developments, can jointly purchase vehicles to share, or owners can share their auto for a fee with other drivers who join Lynk & Co's network, said Alain Visser, the company's senior vice president.

  • Arturo Norris