Unlike in other nations, where automakers are leading the push for electric vehicles, in China the effort is being led largely by one of the country’s most powerful industries — the state-run electric companies that operate the national power grid. With China expected to surpass the United States in the number of all vehicles on the road by as early as 2020, the government-run utilities see it as their job to provide an alternative to imported oil as a way to power several hundred million cars, trucks and buses.
This month in this sprawling southern industrial city, for example, the giant China Southern Power Grid company opened a sales and service center for electric cars.
The new three-story building, resembling a giant lizard egg of lime-green glass, is a showcase for technology supplied by Better Place, a start-up based in Palo Alto, Calif. Under the Better Place business model, customers do not recharge their electric cars but instead periodically stop at an electric filling station to swap their nearly depleted batteries for freshly charged ones.Page 2 of 8 | Prev Page | Next Page