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August 28, 2009 in The China Beat


Copyright August 28, 2009. Used by permission.


The Wilson Center’s China Environment Forum has released two new research briefs, adding them to their growing archive of reports on issues ranging fromhealth challenges in Xinjiang to waste disposal in rural areas. Particularly notable is the collection of reports resulting from a collaboration with Western Kentucky University; the two newest reports are both part of this series.

The first report is “Electric Cars: The Drive for a Sustainable Solution in China,” by Peter Marsters:

The CEO of Chinese automaker BYD has recently taken to drinking vials of his company’s battery fluid. The fluid, designed for use in electric cars, is theoretically non-toxic and environmentally friendly. While the CEO’s choice of beverage may seem trivial or even suicidal, it is symbolic of new Chinese entrepreneurs who aim to build businesses on being green. Some of the most promising of which are the growing government and private sector investors who are dedicated to producing the next generation of clean vehicles….

In an interview with China Environment Forum (CEF) staff, general manager of BYD America Fred Ni discussed the potential for growth in the EV market and BYD’s goal to be at the forefront. He stated that BYD has developed a battery that is of high quality, 100 percent recyclable, and perhaps most importantly, cheaper than its competitors. He hopes that these batteries can be used to overcome cost hurdles in EV development. Currently, BYD is working with local Shenzhen officials to produce electric fleet demonstration models, such as shuttle buses, which it hopes will serve as a model to other cities in the country. BYD, in addition to its own domestic production, wants to work with the big three U.S. automobile companies to produce electric cars with BYD’s battery. This is just one of many expanding Chinese companies hoping to reap the benefits of a potential multi-billion dollar EV economy….