Published: Thu, April 20, 2017
Electronics | By Jesus Weaver

Showtime in Shanghai as automakers race for China edge

Showtime in Shanghai as automakers race for China edge

As evidenced by the slew of electrified cars debuting at the Shanghai show, the country is looking toward electrification as a solution to air quality and congestion issues.

Volvo Cars has announced that it will build its first fully electric auto in China, as part of its larger commitment to sell a total of 1 million electrified cars - including fully electric cars and hybrids - by 2025.

In 2015, Volvo launched its XC90, which was its first vehicle with a hybrid powertrain.

Volvo has previously declared its electric ambitions to be one million EV's and hybrids sold by 2025. Toyota has said it will locally build plug-in hybrids and sell them in China, starting in 2018, although it has not said when all-electric vehicle models would hit Chinese showrooms. Here's everything we know about the vehicle so far.

That is why even as automakers fight electric vehicle mandates in the United States, they are scrambling to develop more plug-in electric hybrids and electric battery cars for China.

Details of the plug-in electric drivetrain have not been released but MG says that it makes the E-motion capable of a sub four-second 0-62mph time, while having a range between charges of more than 310 miles. However, if the upcoming electric vehicle in the discussion is built on the CMA platform, it could turn out to be a direct competitor to the Tesla Model 3.

Ford's Schoch said that as manufacturing volume of batteries - an electric car's most expensive component - expands, costs should fall, making them competitive with combustion engines.

The move makes sense considering more affordable, long-range electric cars are coming to market in a similar timeframe. VW said in January the first VW-JAC auto could be produced next year.

In the wake of its diesel emissions scandal, VW is focusing much more on electric vehicles and software-based technologies - strategies also being pursued by its Chinese joint venture partners, which include SAIC and First Automotive Works (FAW).

While Volvo hasn't said whether or not the vehicle will be a sedan or SUV, it has said it will use a smaller platform, similar to the 40-Series, for the auto.

Volvo previously said that its first electric auto would be built on a larger platform, like the one used for the S90. However, the company has shifted away from that plan.

Volvo said the auto will be based on the economy-size CMA platform shared with Chinese automaker Geely, which bought the Swedish brand from Ford Motor 2010.

However, it is not clear whether Volvo will actually use the CMA platform for its first electric auto, or if it will introduce a new platform that is even smaller.

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