Automakers are hitting the accelerator on electrification. The signs are everywhere at the auto show in Detroit. They're planning to spend $300 billion over the next five to 10 years on electric vehicle technology. Nearly half of the money is targeted at China.
Autotrader analyst Karl Brauer:
SOUNDBITE; KARL BRAUER, ANALYST, AUTOTRADER, (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"Everything that happens in China really is important for the entire global auto market now because China is the largest player. And their aggressive push for EVs is going to help justify all the global automakers pushing in to that technology just for that market alone. And a lot of other markets like Europe and the U.S. are going to benefit simply because it's going to make more sense to do it in China and that alone will justify it for these other markets."
A third of the industry's $300 billion will be spent by Volkswagen, whose CEO says the company's future will be decided in the Chinese market.
Nissan, which was showcasing its concept EV sports sedan, the IMs, is working on stoking consumer demand.
EV marketing director Brian Marango:
SOUNDBITE: BRIAN MARANGO, DIRECTOR OF EV MARKETING AND SALES STRATEGY, NISSAN, (ENGLISH) SAYING:
"I think a big thing for people is just awareness. They're just not aware of electric vehicles and specifically, they might not realize how fun they are and they're probably a lot easier to incorporate into their driving needs than they think."
Automakers are driven to electrification as countries slap more restrictions on conventional gas and diesel engines.