Ford unveils 1st gasoline-electric hybrid

"Chinese auto buyers purchased nearly half of all the plug-in electric vehicles sold in the world previous year, and Chinese officials have set ambitious goals for the further adoption of hybrid- and electric-powered vehicles in the decades ahead", said Bob Pyle, president of Dana Light Vehicle Driveline Technologies and the leader of Dana's company-wide electrification and hybridization strategy.

Volvo Cars, the Chinese-owned Swedish automaker, has announced plans to produce a pure-electric vehicle in China for sale worldwide starting in 2019.

Shanghai: Unable to afford a auto, Shanghai university student Long Yi faces a lengthy, expensive commute across his vast city but has found a solution in the car-sharing schemes quickly gaining momentum in China.

Ford has even announced plans to try to sell its American-icon pickup trucks in China. The company will release the electric and plug-in hybrid versions of the Clarity in the USA this year. "I'll choose EVCARD as my primary mode of transport nearly every time", said Long.

On Tuesday, General Motors Co. said it will produce a gasoline-electric hybrid version of its Chevrolet Volt in China. Kia, whose compact sedan K3 was listed as the 12th best-selling vehicle in China in February, also intends to introduce two new models designed for Chinese drivers. "Unlike other shows such as Geneva where it is more about the show, the events in China are meant to target Chinese consumers alone".

The ongoing diplomatic tension between Beijing and Seoul for the latter's decision to deploy the USA antimissile system known as Thaad reportedly had a detrimental effect on the auto giants' recent sales in China, said local analysts, with Chinese consumers boycotting Korean products as the Chinese government continues to assume a retaliatory stance.

"There is a clear (Chinese) government policy in favor of electromobility - high subsidies and an industrial framework in the form of joint venture companies which are being encouraged to invest in this technology", Diess said, adding Beijing appeared to be trying to replicate the success of hybrid auto technology in Japan and diesel vehicles in Germany.

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At the auto show, the global industry's biggest marketing event of the year, nearly every global and Chinese auto brand is showing at least one electric concept vehicle, if not a market-ready model. The VW brand aims to further launch 10 electric vehicles between 2020 and 2025.

Heizmann said foreign manufacturers also are no longer required to hand over electric technology to Chinese partners.

SsangYong Motor, which is 72.85 percent owned by Indian carmaker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., plans to display four SUV models - the compact Korando C, the small Tivoli, and the Tivoli Air (sold as the XLB overseas) gasoline and diesel SUVs - at the show to increase its brand awareness and lure customers. But industry analysts say that is too much money and too short a distance for most drivers, who have few places to recharge.

Bill Russo, head of Shanghai-based consultancy Gao Feng, said such services will guide auto manufacturing in future.

Government plans call for China to have 100,000 public charging stations and 800,000 private stations by next year, up from a total of 50,000 at the start of 2016.

The government also is trying to nudge buyers toward electrics by exempting them from sales taxes and from license plate fees and lotteries imposed by Beijing, Shanghai and some other cities to curb congestion. Foreign brands are under pressure from Chinese regulators to help local partners create indigenous brands.

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