China anticipated to produce nearly half of new electric car models by 2020

high-emission vehicles being banned in beijing

Chinese automakers are on their way to produce 49 of the 103 new electric car models that will be released worldwide by 2020, as part of China’s push to speed up the switch to battery power from oil, according to a new forecast released on Wednesday.

U.S. consulting company AlixPartners also stated China is intending to have almost two-thirds of the world’s production capacity for lithium-ion batteries by 2021, and is investing to support existing sales of domestic-brand electric automobiles in the world’s largest auto market.

Presently, Chinese automakers represent 96 percent of the electric automobiles sold domestically, AlixPartners stated. Automakers sold an estimated of 350,000 electric vehicles in China in 2016 – still below 2 percent of total automobile sales.

By 2025, electric vehicle batteries need to be close to even with internal combustion engines in regards to production costs, AlixPartners forecast. Lower battery expenses could help boost consumer approval.

John Hoffecker, the company’s global vice chairman, informed press reporters at the Automotive Press Association in Detroit that other aspects, such as substantial decrease of the time it takes to recharge electric vehicle batteries, will be crucial to efforts to win over reluctant consumers.

AlixPartners also alerted that a number of the approximately 50 companies it counts as candidates in the race to establish self-driving vehicles won’t go the distance. “It’s impossible to believe that there are going to 50 successful autonomous vehicle companies,” Hoffecker added.

In the United States, AlixPartners stated automakers will need to contend with funding investments in new technology against deep-pocketed technology industry players such as Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc, even as sales of automobiles and light trucks move into a cyclical trough.

AlixPartners is anticipating that U.S. car and light truck sales will drop to 15.2 million vehicles in 2019, fall of 13 percent from the 2016 peak. Other U.S. experts also forecast a downturn in car sales throughout the next 2 to 3 years.

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