As the U. S. has faltered in auto sales across the board recently, China still continues in strong production and sales. In fact, China is so strong that some are wondering if there is a bubble looming for this country of 1.3 billion people.
But, what has been under-reported by the mainstream media is that China has been strong on green car sales as well as traditional automobiles. In fact, some experts wonder if China is indeed the dark horse of the green car industry.
Now, I’ve talked about China and FCVs several times in the past. But there is a new wrinkle in China’s quest for green cars including FCVs.
According to this article, “Beijing recently slowed exports of rare-earth metals to Japan amid a territorial dispute over the Senkaku Islands. And before that, China began requiring carmakers to set up joint ventures with local firms and transfer key technologies in order to build electric cars in the country. This raised concerns among foreign carmakers over their intellectual property.
“This year, China announced a national strategy to promote the use of electric vehicles. It apparently aims to absorb technology from Japan and Western countries to dominate global market for electric vehicles. Toyota’s quest for fuel cell vehicles may be partly driven by a desire to counter that effort.”
If the reading of the tea leaves is correct, then China may force car companies to transfer key technologies in hydrogen electric vehicles as well, if the automakers want to sell FCVs in their country.
In addition, this transfer of technology could result in new brands of Chinese FCVs in the global marketplace competing with the same car companies that have transferred key technologies.
Since the flow of information out of China is not as fluid as it is in Western countries, it’s hard to tell what the world’s most populous country has up their sleeves. But, don’t count out the Red Giant going green and out of the blue and taking the fuel cell vehicle marketplace by storm in the not too distant future.