While U.S. Senators are wringing their hands and pounding their chests about EV know-how allegedly escaping to China, makers from other countries are doing business. The most recent EV entry is Honda. Honda will build an EV in China and sell it in China in 2012 “in limited quantities,” its R&D chief Toshihiro Mibe told TTAC in Chengdu. The electric vehicle will undergo tests this year. When ready, the EV will be launched under the Honda brand. When asked, Honda spokesperson Natsuna Asanuma was convinced that the Honda EV will qualify for Chinese subsidies.
Mibe dismissed know-how issues: “An EV is much simpler than a regular car. The only difference is the battery and the electric motor.”
Although the model was not named, it most likely is the electric Fit that has been shown by Honda.
The announcement follows an announcement by Nissan that it will export its Leaf to China with an eye on future local production if warranted by initial sales.
This flies in the face of allegations that China will insist on “Chinese” EVs when they dole out their (yet to be announced) subsidies. Senator Stabenow had her information from the New York Times. Multiple sources told TTAC that this story was false. We deserve better fact checking, if only by our elected officials.