Leapfrogging to electric vehicles: patterns and scenarios for China's automobile industry
by Hua Wang; Chris Kimble
International Journal of Automotive Technology and Management (IJATM), Vol. 11, No. 4, 2011

Abstract: The idea of leapfrogging, where a newly industrialising nation moves directly to the use of advanced technologies without needing to follow the trajectory of its predecessors, is an attractive one, particularly for the automobile industry where there is an urgent need to develop more sustainable technologies. China now has the highest level of automobile production and sales in the world; thus, the question we address in this article is, can China 'leapfrog' to the development of clean and economically viable electric vehicles? The existing literature on leapfrogging is ambiguous and ill defined; we review the literature and identify four generic patterns for leapfrogging. We then present some empirical data on the factors that might influence China's ability to leapfrog to electric vehicles. We conclude with an evaluation of the likelihood of it actually being able to do so and propose three leapfrogging scenarios that it might follow.

Online publication date: Tue, 18-Oct-2011

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