China: low speed electric vehicle industry gains government approval

The proliferation of small electric vehicles in China and in particular the Shandong province over the past 10 years has been driven in-part by favourable Chinese policy support and restrictions on alternatives such as petrol scooters, but also by loose regulation and a demand for low-cost transport from a fast-modernising, increasingly urbanised population.

Rural Chinese people are choosing small EVs instead of petrol engined cars, because there is no requirement for the driver to have a license and insurance. Plus the vehicles are very simply constructed, and are not subject to the same safety requirements as regulated combustion powered vehicles; so the production costs and purchase price for these simple cars is also low.

The demand for low-speed EVs is growing, and many new, un-regulated EV manufacturers have sprung up to meet it, with more than 20 companies now building low-speed EVs in Shandong Province.

Some of the larger automotive manufacturers have recognised the demand too, and are manufacturing their own low speed EVs for the market, including Shifeng Group, Fulu Motor and Dezhou Baoya New Energy.

But China’s Government have still been under some pressure to introduce new regulation; to ensure these vehicles are safe and insured, and much of the pressure is coming from the large auto manufacturers who wish to level the playing field in a market where they are losing sales to these new small-EV companies.

With pollution and modernization top of the agenda, and the aggressive targets for larger EV sales in China not being met, the government seem to be taking a pragmatic approach the the issue: According to the China Car Times, many of these new small EV manufactureres have gained official governmental approval – the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) have confirmed Shandong Province as a low speed electric vehicle test zone.

“Shandong Province has long been a home to low speed electric vehicles, but now the many enterprises have gained an official governmental okay with a nod from the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to continue their work as Shandong Province has been confirmed as low speed electric vehicle test zone.

For many years Shandong Province has turned a blind eye to the development and operation of low speed EV’s on its roads which has helped the province grow its EV base to 20 automakers that produced just over 1000 electric buses in 2012 of which 980 were sold. Even more amazing is the fact that 128,000 low speed EV’s were produced in Shandong last year, an increase of 68.6% with 125,000 being sold, an equal increase of 68%.

Shandong Economic and Information Committee Director Yang Shao Jun was quoted as saying that the Development of New Energy vehicles in Shandong Province is not entirely ideal at the moment and requires the support of governmental departments and also the introduction of subsidies to kick start the industry and lead it in the right direction.

The news is likely to be a major bonus to companies such as Shi Feng Electric Cars, this group has been making low speed EV’s for a number of years with sales reaching over 10,000 units in 2012. Consumers of such vehicles are usually elderly or disabled users who use the vehicles to continue with their lives unheeded, again many of these vehicles are uninsured and unlicensed but they are gaining in popularity due to low costs.”

See the original article here: Shandong Becomes Hub of Low Speed Electric Vehicles – China Car Times

Links to some of the newly approved manufacturers of Chinese low-speed electric vehicles:

Shandong Baoya New Energy Vehicle Co. Ltd
Xindayang Group Co., Ltd.
Shandong Yixing Electric Automobile Group
Shandong Taiqi Electric Vehicle Co., LTD
Kandi Technologies
Geely Automotive
Chery Automotive
Shi Feng Electric Cars – Shandong Shifeng Group
Fulu Motor

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