Number one on their list got my attention:
China announces that by 2020, half of the cars in the country will be electric. It invests tens of billions of dollars in R&D toward achieving that goal.
Such a move could make China the leader in the automotive technology of the future, with other countries struggling to keep pace. Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) or newcomer BYD Auto could become the Ford Motor of the 21st century, propelled by a new technology—much as Ford capitalized on the internal-combustion engine at the start of the 20th century.
McKinsey is not saying this is likely, but, as the author puts it: “Here’s a list of some realistic possibilities for the next year. Will all of them come to pass? I doubt it. But any one of them could, and each might make us see China and its future in a new light.”
So what difference would it make for Oregon if China made a big electric car push?
It would up the importance of trying to get part of the BYD Auto company action in Oregon. Oregon is actively courting BYD. Part of that courting, I assume, is the Governor’s efforts to make Oregon more electric-car friendly. Those efforts would become more important and significant.
It would indicate that China sees its own geopolitical reality and will make the smart, strategic investments it needs. It is a large country with little oil resources. With a small but rapidly growing, gas-based car culture, it needs get off oil before its becomes too dependent. It should not want to face ever rising oil prices and ongoing dependency on politically unstable regions of the world for its supply.
It might, finally, impress Oregon’s business, educational, and political leaders that the economic and geopolitical world of the 20th century is over. Throw all the old assumptions out. China is rising. This is not the only game changing move they might make. Oregon needs to respond. In part, that response should be to increase the number of students studying Mandarin and studying aboard.
And then there would be more of China's traditional coal plants to power those electric cars? We know what that means. Ever warmer here.
PS: The full article (it’s short) is here. You will probably need to register to see the full article.