Toyota To Bring Plug-Ins To China?

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
toyota to bring plug ins to china

The Chinese government appears to be dead-set on electrifying its car fleet. And if any government usually gets what it wants, then it’s the Chinese. Generous subsidies beckon: Some cities in China match a central government subsidy of 60,000 yuan with their own 60,000 yuan largesse. That’s 120,000 yuan, or in today’s greenbacks (forget the rumor that the yuan is pegged to the $, no more) that’s $18,515. Even more intriguing: Beijing promises to do away with its license plate lottery for EVs.

Two problems: No EVs to buy, and no charging stations.

State media promises that the charging stations will be there. If a country can build an 819 miles high speed railway from Shanghai to Beijing in three years and finish a year earlier than planned , then it should be able to put up some pylons with plugs.

But what about the cars?

Every Chinese maker seems to have one at every auto show, but that’s about it. The Japanese seem to be farthest ahead with EVs. The Nissan Leaf is in mass production. Now, CarNewsChina says that Toyota will bring the new RAV4 EV and iQ EV to the Chinese auto market next year, both as imports. Both cars are tentatively scheduled for production in 2012. The RAV4 EV is a Tesla project. The plug-in iQ is being developed at Toyota.

Now what about the subsidies? Early reports said the subsidies are for Made in China cars only, which could have been a WTO trigger. Now CarNewsChina says that “the subsidy is for every electric car, imported and locally made.”

Join the conversation
  • Trend-Shifter Trend-Shifter on Jun 07, 2011

    So now that Beijing has figured out that "China only" subsidies would not fly with the WTO, are they now trying this.... Extract from “China Daily” p14 – Business international – issue Thursday June 2nd 2011 “The national guidelines on auto parts JV for new energy vehicles released in April have sparked heated discussions over the pros and cons of the proposed policy. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) released a draft Catalogue for Guiding Foreign Investment in Industry, which has been thrown open for comments. The draft indicates that foreign investors will be limited to a maximum of 50% stake in JV producing key components for new-energy vehicles. China has a 50-50 rule for auto manufacturing joint ventures, but the proposals are the first time such an investment cap has been imposed on auto-part companies. Many foreign auto-parts manufacturers that have set up wholly owned companies in China or hold a majority share in domestic JV, have expressed concern over the regulation. According to the draft, the phrase “key components” cover everything, from batteries to control systems, which means a host of components makers involved in new-energy vehicle technologies will be affected….

  • Ponchoman49 Ponchoman49 on Jun 08, 2011

    Is that Toyotas playschool version of the Smart car complete with bug eyes, nose, grinning grille and a wind up toy lever out back? I just want to poke it in the groin and make it laugh as it made me laugh with it's comical styling.

  • Parkave231 Collector's Edition hood ornament or GTFO.
  • Dave M. Once again Mustang remains solely on the throne. But obviously the day of the ponycar has long passed....
  • Art Vandelay The car so nice they killed it…twice
  • Ryan The hybrid EX model lists at about CAD$39,000 in Canada, including delivery charges. No Premium package is available for it here.
  • Golden2husky A great driver's car let down by down right dangerous visibility - in any version. Had the Camaro had a qulity interior and acceptable visibility we'd have one in our driveway as my wife loves the way they look and drive.