China is the world's largest automotive market and has also been the largest market for electric vehicles. With auto companies constantly looking at increasing respective shares in the EV market here, BMW AG recently revealed plans of constructing 360,000 EV charging stations across the country that could potentially help its own battery-powered offerings find wider acceptance.
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The Chinese market is flooded with global and local players offering a long list of electric vehicles. While Tesla has a strong grip over the market, other international rivals like Volkswagen, Mercedes and even BMW want to play bigger. Establishing charging infrastructure is one key way of ensuring a show of commitment.
With China's goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2060, BMW clearly sees a whole lot of potential for its EV business. "As a multi-national company with a large-scale footprint in China, BMW is fully supporting the country’s transition toward a low-carbon economy by placing sustainability at the core of our own China strategy," said Jochen Goller, CEO at BMW China.
BMW has a joint venture with China's Great Wall Motor Co. and production is ecpected to begin from 2023. As per plans, BMW will also introduce 12 fully-battery powered BMW and MINI models in the country over the next two years. As sales of EVs grow in proportion to sales of conventional vehicles, newer models are likely to be fancied while support infrastructure is most likely to be a key consideration for buyers as well.
China Passenger Car Association in May had highlighted how one in every five cars sold in the country is either electric or hybrid vehicle. Cities like Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Hangzhou are leading the way but the EV penetration is also permeating to smaller cities and towns. (Read full report here)
As such, while local companies remain a force to reckon with, and Tesla has quite the lead, there is a whole lot of room for others to step up their respective games.
(With inputs from Bloomberg)