Last week’s Shanghai Auto Show put on a spectacle for electric vehicle fanatics around the world, as global automakers like Audi, Jaguar and Volkswagen locked horns with new players like Lynk & Co and NIO for Eastern glory. Show standouts consisted of Audi’s E-Tron Sportback concept, VW’s Crozz and Lynk & Co’s O3 concept sedan.
Once again, we saw a significant focus on alternative powertrain vehicles and connected car technology, following on from the strong automotive presence at CES in Las Vegas and the technology overhaul and EV drive at the Geneva Motor Show. However, this month we will see an overwhelming presence of gas-guzzling performance cars at the upcoming New York International Auto Show, where Dodge will explode onto the scene with its Demon muscle car. I am all for performance cars that focus on driver involvement and speed, but if you look at the difference between the US and China right now, it seems that America is not moving fast enough on a market that will completely dominate the automotive industry in no time at all. Global players are starting to look East for long-term success. China’s future plans were evident in Shanghai and it is only a matter of time till the country becomes the leading market for EVs.
This progression is credited to China’s government, who has set high goals for the future of EVs in the country along with attractive credits and rebates for customers willing to make the change. The US may be on the brink of pushing for the EV revolution, but it is far behind the Chinese who are not just looking for a cleaner future, but as a way of capitalising on the global market. Due to the aggressively expanding EV market, China is looking to rebuild itself as an automotive hub, with automakers in the country pushing for electrified glory. Meanwhile, in the US, automakers are merely ‘ticking the boxes’ that are being set by regional governments, waiting for the demand for EVs rather than creating the attraction. However, the demand is there, already rivaling the appetite for pickup trucks that have dominated the market for some time now. The US needs to act fast, or foreign automakers will move East.