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China is the largest market for new energy vehicles (NEVs): vehicles powered by battery, plug-in, hybrid, or fuel cell drive technology. One million vehicles were sold in 2018—that is 3 percent of all new vehicle registrations. By May 2019, this figure had doubled to 6 percent—thanks to state planning, incentive schemes, and bans: cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, and Shenzhen are placing restrictions on the sale of vehicles with combustion engines, holding lotteries for license plates. In contrast, NEV owners are often allowed to park where they like, receive dis- counts when charging their vehicles, and are granted tax rebates. And as of May 2019, some 976,000 charging stations had already been installed—an increase of 70 percent over the year before.
cally in China. “The Chinese are really excited about artificial intelligence—some- thing that can be seen in smartwatches, which are very widespread here.”
For Mobility Asia, this work is like putting together pieces of a puzzle. These pieces are developed in partnership with the management of parking facilities, or manufacturers of charging stations—or are produced on its own initiative, in agile processes that are significantly shorter than previous software development pro- cesses by automotive manufacturers. And despite the cutthroat competition, de Miroschedji is having an easier time recruiting the right IT experts than he would in Germany. “Some universities are qualifying large numbers of programmers. In magnitudes that really make your mind boggle,” he says. Chinese government pol- icy to steer developments and plan for the long term certainly helps this along.
Which doesn’t rule out the fact that things sometimes proceed at a break- neck speed. When Sania de Miroschedji drove to work one morning, he found that the road passing by his office had been transformed into a huge construction site overnight. And so too had all the other roads in the district as well. Just two days later, the roads were once again fit for traffic. Just like that, all of a sudden. De Miroschedji didn’t even realize the work was being done. And he’s still scratch- ing his head about that.
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