January 28, 2009

Chinese Electrics Beat the U.S.

Bill Georgevich reporting

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With Chevrolet’s decision to power their hybrid electric car with batteries made in China, the globe’s greatest polluter may also become the world leader in zero-emission cars. At the 2009 Detroit car expo China shocked the auto industry presenting 3 different working models of electric cars that use the same battery as the Chevy Volt, which doesn’t arrive until 2010 or later.

We are not kidding. Not only does China have 3 working models that will be sold in the mainland this year, but their batteries really are going to be used by GM despite the fact that Detroit vowed that they were going to invent their own battery,

The story gets even stranger when you look at why China is building electrics. Not to save the environment and not to fight pollution although these cars will help with both. China simply has too much coal and imports most of it’s oil. So they can make a lot cheap electricity building more and more dirty coal-fired plants and feed their new middle class, hungry for transportation, by selling them electric cars.

Add that to the fact that the Chinese, as a culture, famous for their low standards of safety, will build those electrics to crash safety standards far below those established for the US. Which is why in the short term we will not see the Chinese electric cars in the US even though they will be available far ahead anything GM, Chrysler or Ford can actually put on a car lot for sale.