The Shanghai auto show, which opens to the public on Friday, will showcase work on electric models meant to appeal to Chinese drivers who are wary of the unfamiliar technology's reliability and cost.
At the Shanghai Motor Show, the market's most significant marketing event this year, practically every global and Chinese brand prepares to show at least an electric concept vehicle, if not a model all set for sale, along with its latest SUVs and sedans.
Jochem Heizmann, China CEO for Volkswagen, the country's top auto brand, told reporters Tuesday VW was close to cementing a partnership with Chinese car-sharing operator Shouqi serving multiple cities - partly to boost sales of VW electric vehicles.
The automaker hasn't specified the name of the EV it plans to produce, but we do know it's an all-new model based on Volvo's Compact Modular Architecture (CMA).
In 2015, Volvo launched its XC90, which was its first vehicle with a hybrid powertrain.
"Those rules are bit unclear", said Trevor Worthington, Ford's Asia-Pacific vice president for product development.
Volvo's first fully electric vehicle is slated to go into production in 2019. Lynk & Co cars should sell for up to 250,000 yuan - in the heart of the mainstream segment that accounts for about 45 percent of Chinese passenger vehicle sales and that is now dominated by foreign brands such as Volkswagen, GM, Ford Motor Co, Toyota Motor Corp 7203.T and Honda Motor Co Ltd 7267.T . They range from family-friendly SUVs to futuristic-looking, premium-priced electric muscle cars from Chinese startups such as NextEV and Qiantu.
BMW, for instance, will appear in Shanghai for the world premiere of the i8 Protonic Frozen Yellow Edition, a special edition of its plug-in hybrid i8.
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Tesla is planning to launch its first mass-market vehicle, the Model 3, by the end of this year, but the majority of its pre-orders are expected to arrive in 2018. The Czech carmaker describes it as an SUV coupé that has a range of up to 500km on a single charge, with a top speed of 180km/h.
The brand is testing a new identity on the stunning E-Motion electric sports vehicle concept revealed at the Shanghai motor show, replacing its traditional octagonal logo with a more stylised round badge as part of a softer, European-inspired new design language that will eventually make its way across MG's existing range of hatchbacks and SUVs.
They make up less than 2% of China's overall auto market of 28 million vehicles sold previous year.
The government also is trying to nudge buyers toward electrics by exempting them from sales taxes and from license plate fees and lotteries imposed by Beijing, Shanghai and some other cities to curb congestion.
But behind the scenes, many are anxious that batteries capable of delivering the same driving range as petrol cars are still too expensive.
State-owned SAIC Motor's wait-and-see attitude contrasts with that of Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., which is pressing ahead with a plan to start sales of its Trumpchi brand in the U.S. But Geely chairman Li Shufu has said he wants its Swedish managers to operate independently. Despite that, sales of electric and gasoline-electric hybrids fell 4.4 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter to 55,929 vehicles while SUV purchases rose 21 percent to 2.4 million. The company says it plans to develop plug-in hybrid versions of all its models.
People in the industry say manufacturers have warned Beijing those targets are too ambitious.