PHOTO CAPTION: ZD D1 electric micro car is one of the most popular of its class in China.

15 Million Micro EVs Forecast for China

China could someday become the micro electric car capital of the world, especially if an obscure electric bicycle maker has its way.

Published: 31-Mar-2015

Until recently, the sale of electric cars in China have been sluggish, at best, despite relativity strong government support and financial inducements. One category, however, that has seen surprising success are electric micro cars, especially those from a manufacturer of electric motors and bicycles.

Twenty percent of the electric cars sold in China in 2014 came from an obscure company called Xindayang, makers of the ZD D1 pictured above. Similar in dimensions to the smart-for-two from Daimler, the car is offered in both lithium-ion and lead acid battery versions, the former having a range reportedly up to 160 km (100 mi). The model has been so successful that the company is expanding from its 30,000 unit plant in Linyi, in eastern China. It has done a deal with Geely, which not only owns Volvo but also the London Taxi Company, makers of the famed London Black Cabs, to take over a 100,000 unit capacity plant in Ningbo, eventually upgrading it to be able to produce 300,000 vehicles annually.

The company president, Bao Wenguang recently told ECNS.cn, "...micro electric cars were the 'most optimal' transport choice for the majority of people living in urban areas due to the growing pressures of pollution and traffic jams." He forecast that China could see as many as 15 million micro EVs on its roads in the not too distant future.

Interestingly, ZD also owns and operates car rental businesses in a number of Italian cities, including Milan and Pisa. Additionally, they have more than 200 dealerships across China. It would not be too much of a stretch of imagination to see ZD micro EVs populating neighborhood carshare systems both in China and outside, giving more people access to automotive-based mobility when and where needed.

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