Ford unveils 1st gasoline-electric hybrid

At this year's Shanghai Auto Show, global brands were eager to show their adherence to Beijing's calls, while still catering to customers of the world's largest vehicle market.

Electric vehicles accounted for just 1.8 percent of China's auto sales a year ago.

"It's hard for someone with an EV to come and take away market share from SUVs", stated Ben Cavender of China Market Research Group.

As well as being the world's largest auto market, China is also the world's largest sales market for electrified vehicles.

According to management consulting firm McKinsey, 43 percent of the 870,000 electric cars produced in 2016 came from China.

Global automakers unveiled new SUVs, electric vehicles, and futuristic concept cars at the Shanghai Auto Show on Wednesday, racing for an edge in the world's biggest auto market as growth slows after years of frenzied sales.

Zhang said SAIC's MG and Roewe - brands based on technology acquired from bankrupt British auto maker MG Rover - plan a total of five auto models and nine sport utility vehicles, and would aim to offer quality comparable to global brands such as Nissan, but at a lower price.

Unable to afford a vehicle, Shanghai university student Long Yi faces a lengthy, expensive commute across his vast city but has found a solution in the car-sharing schemes quickly gaining momentum in China.

Local Internet giants like Baidu and Alibaba-invested provider also displayed smart driving, artificial intelligence and navigation technologies in the show.

Trump Orders Review of the H-1B Visa Process
Mr Trump's wife Melania used an H-1B visa in her early days as a model in NY , says the BBC's Gary O'Donoghue in Washington . Many Trump-branded products, like clothing, are made overseas.

Long, 20, drives himself to school for around 50 yuan ($7) using EVCARD, a service launched by state-owned automaker SAIC Motor that has compact electric vehicles sprinkled around the city, slashing his travel time and costing one-quarter the taxi fare.

The status of manufacturing electric cars in China is unclear for foreign brands, which must have joint ventures with state-owned Chinese partners that assemble their vehicles.

"It's clear that China wants to take a leading role globally in terms of the regulatory environment and electrification", said David Schoch, Ford's president for the Asia-Pacific.

Hence the proposal, released in September, calling for electric or gasoline-electric hybrids to make up 8 percent of every automaker's output next year.

General Motors Co. plans to make and sell a gasoline-electric hybrid version of its Chevrolet Volt in China, as Beijing presses global automakers to promote alternatives to gasoline.

"We will decide how to divide up the tasks on a case-by-case basis, but of course this will include capacities to develop electric cars here in China", Zetsche said.

It also announced an all-new fully electric small SUV with an estimated range of more than 450km that it will bring to market within five years and will be sold in North America and Europe, as well as China.

Automakers and government officials have been bargaining over China's electric vehicle policy for years. 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 auto models would hit Chinese showrooms.

Lynk & Co will offer what executives called a "lifetime" warranty, and also plan to allow consumers to pay for access to a vehicle on a subscription basis - by the month or mile - instead of committing to a purchase.

  • Ronnie Bowen