Chinese automakers showcase green car ambitions at Shanghai auto show (2)

11:23, April 22, 2011      

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Visitors take photos of a BMW concept car in the 14th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition in east China's Shanghai, April 21, 2011, the first day the exhibition open to public. About 2,000 carmakers and parts providers from 20 countries and regions showcased 1,100 car models, while 75 of which made their world premieres in the auto show. (Xinhua/Xu Peiqin)

One major consideration for green vehicles is their exorbitant price, said Hou Bo, director of the automotive department with Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. (DTTL).

A dual mode electric vehicle, F3DM, produced by China's privately-owned automaker BYD Auto, is priced at 169,800 yuan, almost double that of the traditional engine-powered version of the F3 car.

"The prices of electric cars are far above consumers' expectations, and Chinese car buyers will not pay too much for a green car," Hou said.

A recent survey by market researcher Synovate China shows that more than 40 percent of Chinese buyers think that prices of electric car parts and components are too high to accept.

Others think that recharging an electric car conveniently is more important. More than half of the interviewees think that it is still very difficult to recharge an electric car, which would hinder their purchase, according to Synovate's survey.

Some consumers are more hopeful about the future of green cars.

Feng Xiao, dean of the China-Germany Engineering College of Tongji University, predicted that new energy vehicles will hopefully account for five to ten percent of the entire auto market within three to five years.

"The era of alternative fuel vehicles is coming soon," Feng said.

In a bid to foster a better environment for the industry, the Chinese government has taken various measures to support the use of environmentally efficient vehicles.

China has carried out experimental programs on the use of these vehicles in 25 pilot cities across the country, while buyers of green vehicles in five cities, including Shanghai, Changchun, Shenzhen, Hangzhou and Hefei, will receive subsidies as high as 120,000 yuan from both the central and local governments.

The Beijing municipal government is also mulling preferential policies toward the use of green vehicles. For example, people who buy these types of cars would not have to take part in the car plate lottery that limits the number of new cars sold every year to 240,000 to ease the capital city's gridlock.

The biennial Shanghai Auto Show, the 14th since its inauguration, attracted about 2,000 car and parts makers from 20 countries, showcasing 75 new car models, of which 19 made their world premieres.

On Thursday, an estimated 700,000 people visited the show, which will last to April 28.

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