Last month, recently-revived American automaker Detroit Electric unveiled its Lotus-bodied SP.01
– it’s said to be the fastest pure-electric car on the market. Although only 999 of the cars will be built, the company did state that other models were in the works for next year. At the recent Shanghai Auto Show, Detroit Electric and China’s Geely Automobile Group (which owns Volvo
) announced they they would be teaming up on one of those – the EC7-EV.
Swedish automotive icon Volvo is celebrating its 85th birthday and will reenact driving the first mass-produced Volvo ÖV4 off the production line and through the company gates in Göteborg. Volvo heroically focused on the safety of the occupants of its cars long before other manufacturers decided it was fashionable, pioneering many of the features (such as the three-point seat belt) we find in the cars of today.
One of the most imaginative concept cars we’ve ever seen turned up at Auto Shanghai
this week and it didn’t come from Japan, Germany, France or America – it was the result of two years work in China by Geely engineers and is the synthesis of over 60 IP-protected ideas. In essence, it’s an ultra compact, two-door, four-seater with a built-in, folding three wheeled electric scooter in the rear. When the scooter is docked, the car shares both its battery and electric motor to extend the all-electric range or ensure the scooter is fully charged. The vehicle is proposed as having choice of gas-electric hybrid or fully electric powerplants. Sheer genius … and a catchy name which must surely attract a legal challenge.
China’s meteoric rise to become the center of the world’s automotive industry was well documented last week in our article
and video on SAIC’s YEZ Concept car
. This week another Chinese manufacturer is making global headlines by buying Volvo Automobiles. Unlike Government-owned SAIC, Volvo’s purchaser Zhejiang Geely is a public company controlled by Li Shufu (top left) a self-made 47 year-old billionaire who is being heralded as China’s Henry Ford. Geely’s ambition knows no bounds – it already plans to produce the world’s cheapest car (the tiny gullwing at top right), has a range of green drive trains ready for market including full electric and parallel and serial hybrids
, has plans to produce a serious sports cars (bottom right) and now the first fully-owned Chinese prestige auto brand looks set to grab a fat slice of the Government fleet which makes up 8% of China’s auto market.
November 17, 2006 The scarily large and growing Chinese automotive industry will impact everyone on the planet in more ways than just rising fuel prices and greenhouse gas emissions – it will also significantly influence design, so don’t be surprised to begin seeing new brand names you’ve never heard of on some pretty dashing automobiles … like Geely
f’rinstance. The Chinese auto maker will introduce the Fengying concept car at the Beijing Auto show, complete with styling borrowed from the aero industry and scissor doors.