Buffett’s BYD Threatened by Prius in China Hybrid Shift

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by cwerdna, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Buffett’s BYD Threatened by Prius in China Hybrid Shift - Bloomberg

    I'd been hearing about the horrific air pollution that had been plaguing Beijing over the past few months.

    IMHO, if China wants to get serious about reducing their air pollution, besides enacting much stricter standards on emissions from factories and power plants, they ought to mandate emissions standards for new cars be as tough or tougher than California AT-PZEV standards. They ought to mandate that all cars have auto start/stop systems, a minimum or better yet, be at least mild hybrids. I've seen traffic in some cities in China and it can be terrible, w/lots of stop and go.

    And, they should get older, polluting vehicles off the road. I'm not sure if they have emissions checks, but if they don't, they should as well.

    My only trip there was 08, right after the Olympics. In Beijing and Shanghai, I saw 0 Priuses.
     
  2. JMD

    JMD 2012 Prius 4 Solar Roof

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    They rather export everything to other countries and buy stuff made in China. That is the Chinese economic plan.

    Beijing makes Mexico City look like Montreal.
     
  3. walter Lee

    walter Lee Hypermiling Padawan

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    BYD has all electric, hybrid , and conventional gas vehicles in their model lineup. This Bloomberg story is focused only on BYD's electric vehicle, the highway-ready e6 minivan-station wagon-crossover, whose sales and economic viability is solely due to large purchases for a fleet government vehicles and for the regional state-run taxis. Without government support and intervention, the e6 ( like the Chevy Volt) would have been history long ago. Electric cars like the BYD e6 are too expensive for the average Chinese consumer. Unlike the USA - there isn't a popular ecological sustainable movement in China as in the USA - the effort to be *green* in basically a government effort -- which is why China seems to be dragging its feet with respect to the environment. Despite its economic growth, most of China's wealth is still concentrated in a few hands so the rest of the Chinese population is much less affluent and is more concern about whether a mode of transportation (whether it is a car or not) is more economically viable. To keep the cost of vehicles low - China (and India) have almost no environmental standards for their motor vehicles which in turn makes a standard conventional gas vehicle in China (and India) one of the dirtiest and nastiest conventional gas vehicles that money can buy in the world.


    China has a two tier motor vehicle market - the more expensive top tier highway ready (>55 mph) and less expensive bottom tier metro ready (<35 mph) which is used more often in less affluent remote and underdeveloped villages. Low speeds, short range conventional lead acid BEVs (basically hi powered golf carts ) have carved out a part of the Chinese metro ready vehicle market.

    IIRC both Toyota Prius Liftback and the Nissan Leaf are competing in the Chinese (highway ready - top tier) Auto Market - however, both are priced outside the range of most Chinese consumers so the Chinese sales of 2434 units in 2012 is not surprising. Most of China's super rich and affluent auto buyers are not going *green* rather they are still in a *hummer* mode. One needs to only look at who has the biggest share in the more expensive highway ready Chinese auto market to understand the Chinese Motor Vehicle Consumer mentality. GM owns be biggest share in China's highway ready motor vehicle market and GM 's biggest seller in China is a green house gas nightmare polluting conventional gas luxury 4 door Buick. In fact, GM China is one of the reason GM is turning a profit this year.
     
  4. Lutchenko

    Lutchenko Will Perrin

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    It's very easy to propose such a solution when viewed from way up high as it were. However your proposals may well result in a large percentage of the population no longer being able to afford any form of motorised transport. Imagine legislation in your neck of the woods that only allowed you to drive a type of vehicle that cost $100,000.

    Not only could this slow down China's growing economy but would have the potential to generate public anger.
     
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  5. Sergiospl

    Sergiospl Senior Member

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    I think most would choose to breathe! Pollution Levels in Beijing Extremely Hazardous - YouTube
     
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  6. Lutchenko

    Lutchenko Will Perrin

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    Well given the choice between pollution and having a job thereby being able to feed ones family I feel that majority would choose the latter

    I don't disagree in that something needs to be done I just feel your suggestion isn't very practical
     
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  7. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    Possibly. Short sighted though that be. But that was not the choice you offered. Rather it was breathe or have a car, which ought to be a pretty simple choice.
     
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  8. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney EditProfOptInfoCustomUser Title

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    The fact that Buick is a big seller in China tells you a lot about the socio-economic structure.

    Combine socio-economics, domestic quality issues, protectionism and IP theft and it pretty obvious why sales would be low.
     
  9. Lutchenko

    Lutchenko Will Perrin

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    For which in the case of the 70,000 cab drivers that reads as income or breathe
     
  10. jameskatt

    jameskatt Member

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    That is a good reason EVs in China have failed in China. They are much more inconvenient than gas cars.

    A good rule of thumb for EVs is to never go on a trip which is longer 60% of your battery power.

    Thus, in China, only a $100,000 Tesla with an EPA range of 244 miles is going to work. But that would be prohibitively expensive for the Chinese government to subsidize. Also, the average middle-class family in China makes $10,000 to $60,000 a year. This puts the Tesla out of the range for most people there.
     
  11. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    Exactly who chooses taxi driver as a career without access to an automobile?
     
  12. Lutchenko

    Lutchenko Will Perrin

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    What?
     
  13. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Yep, Republicans who buy Prius voice the same rationales, in the sense of acting based only the personal pocketbook. Things change when the cost of fixing pollution is higher than controls, whether the cost is passed on to the consumer directly, or is through general taxation.

    e.g., Shutting down factories for days/weeks at a time to clean up the smog cannot be a popular measure, either.
     
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  14. spwolf

    spwolf Senior Member

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    that article is full of wrong facts but this is interesting:

    good luck on selling gazillion EVs with 168 charging stations total. Thats crazy.
     
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  15. Corwyn

    Corwyn Energy Curmudgeon

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    My sentiments exactly. I have no idea why you brought up these taxi drivers. I am more concerned with the other 99.9948% of the Chinese people . Yes, that is the actual percentage (2012 population figures). Saying that 1/2 of one hundredth of one percent is somehow relevant seems ludicrous to me. I will happily concede that that miniscule percentage needs a car in order to function in their job. So what?
     
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  16. Lutchenko

    Lutchenko Will Perrin

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    So the question is then I guess how many lives is it acceptable to sacrifice for the common good?


    I brought up taxi drivers as there are currently 70,000 of them in Beijing.
    It seems that you policy may put a very large percentage of them out of business
     
  17. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Republican clap-trap demagoguery.
     
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  18. Lutchenko

    Lutchenko Will Perrin

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    Well it's very easy say that a tiny percentage don't matter in the interest of the many just as long as we are not included in that tiny percentage eh
     
  19. blisterpeanuts

    blisterpeanuts Junior Member

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    There are lots of motorcycles and scooters in Chinese cities, edging out the bicycle as the chief form of transportation. Electric scooters are getting more popular there, but there aren't that many yet, maybe 20 million on the roads currently.

    China probably should focus on electric or natural gas buses and trolleys in the cities, maybe expand the rail networks and bus feeders in the rural areas. Encouraging electric cars seems a bit premature right now when even most Americans can't afford one. A $10,000 Prius might be a winner though.

    Another major source of pollution in China is the 2,000 coal-fired power plants that spew major smoke with virtually no controls. They're working on building cleaner plants but it's going to be a long time. They're also pushing nuclear power and their solar panel manufacturers are flooding the markets.
     
  20. Lutchenko

    Lutchenko Will Perrin

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    With diesel trucks representing around 60% of particulate emissions a good start would be for the government to enable the fuel produces to supply cleaner diesel.
     
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