China, the world’s largest market for electric vehicles (EV), has put in play a state industrial policy that is seeking to upend global automakers (see Financial Times, October 12, 2017 and May 20, 2018). Exemptions from taxes and subsidy programs have favored the purchasing of an EV, which are also exempt from driving restrictions in large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. Policies that target manufacturers include meeting production targets for EVs (the so-called dual- credit policy by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology). China may be on the verge of becoming a global disruptor in an industry that has home market advantages of scale, lower fossil fuel imports, and significant reduction of air pollution in cities while exploiting related technologies such as lithium batteries where China has world class industrial competence. It is in China’s national interest to be a game changer in the global automotive industry from fossil fuel to electricity. And building infrastructure – supercharging stations included – fits the government-directed approach that aspires to establish the country as an undisputable global leader in a high-tech sector of global significance.
- competitive strategy