BMW: China To Be Largest EV Global Market By 2019

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon

Though Chinese consumers have been slow to adopt electric vehicles thus far, BMW believes China will become the largest global market for EVs by 2019 at the earliest.

Bloomberg reports the automaker entered into a joint venture with municipal power company State Grid Shanghai, installing public charging infrastructure at the city’s former World Expo site as one of 46 such sites around the city to be installed by the end of 2014. The charging equipment will be compatible with products made by BMW, SAIC and BYD et al, while Tesla owners will have to use Supercharger stations instead.

Meanwhile, BMW will begin deliveries of the i3 in China this September, being sold in showrooms alongside the i8. BMW China CEO Karsten Engel says he expects only 1,000 will arrive in showrooms this year due to lack of supply, while BMW overall will sell over 400,000. The Bavarians join fellow Germans Volkswagen and Daimler in producing EVs for the Chinese market to help boost adoption among consumers. Currently, 70,000 total EVs are on the road in the nation, far behind the Chinese government’s goal of 500,000 by next year.

Cameron Aubernon
Cameron Aubernon

Seattle-based writer, blogger, and photographer for many a publication. Born in Louisville. Raised in Kansas. Where I lay my head is home.

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  • Schmitt trigger Schmitt trigger on May 29, 2014

    With the humongous air pollution on China's large cities, they have little choice. However...The problem is that China's power grid is about 79% fueled from coal(*), so the solution could be worse than the problem it attempts to solve. (*) According to Wikipedia, although it is missing a citation.

  • Boxerman Boxerman on May 29, 2014

    Assuming you can get a license plate in china the cost is $15k, for an electric car you can get a plate and the cost is zero. Spend any time in a major chinese city speak with the people and you know the no1 issue is air pollution. So from a cost and personal level people will gravitate to electric cars there. Add to that the driving cycle which is pretty much never between cities and you see range is not an issue. There is also no culture of internal combustion. All signs point towards electrics having major takeup and being a big hit in China. I dont see the I series being quite the same sales sucess here in the USA. Eveb charging stations should not be amjor issue, you dont see gas stations all over chinese cities, so charging station may well be more conveniant, and the gov can mandate infrastructure. True the elctricity must come from somewhere, but coal plants can be situated outside of cities lowering urban smog, and with emission conmtrols coal plants need not be bad, except maybe for co2 which is not a visible pollutant or health issue. If the chinese gov has a goal of 500,000 electric cars per year my guess is they will create the infrastructure and economic enviroment to meet or exceed it. All thta was missing before was the product, but between tesla and BMW we now have premium elctric cars and premium e;lectric car brands. Golf carts were never going to be big sellers in china.

  • Schmitt trigger Schmitt trigger on May 29, 2014

    They may have already started. From Reuters: "China's State Grid Corp STGRD.UL is lobbying hard for approval of a $250 billion upgrade plan that it says would make the nation's grid an international trailblazer" and "China's leaders to agree to crisscross the country with as many as 20 ultra-high voltage (UHV) power lines, dubbed power corridors, by 2020, industry sources say." Reuters is calling this a white elephant; a notion I fail to see. After all wholesale transmission capabilities are the backbone of all the energy grids.

  • 28-Cars-Later 28-Cars-Later on May 29, 2014

    That's got to be the saddest, most misshapen BMW I have ever seen.

    • Old Man Pants Old Man Pants on May 29, 2014

      It resembles the guy who's staring in the door. Love at first sight. Like me with boxy cars.