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China's new energy vehicles: value and innovation

Chris Kimble (Based at Euromed Management, Marseille, France and MRM‐CREGOR Université Montpellier II, Montpellier, France)
Hua Wang (Based at Euromed Management, Marseille, France)

Journal of Business Strategy

ISSN: 0275-6668

Article publication date: 29 March 2013




The overarching theme of this article is the importance of innovations that are created within the emerging economies. More specifically, the article aims to focus on the development of various alternatives to vehicles powered by the internal combustion engine, new energy vehicles (NEVs), within China.


The broad strategic approach of two sectors within the NEV sector in China, the pure electric vehicle (EV) and the low‐speed electric vehicle (LSEV) sectors, are compared using recent data and conclusions are drawn.


The EV sector is viewed by central government as a key sector for China's future industrial growth and is heavily supported. In contrast, the LSEV sector receives no support from central government and yet clearly outstrips the sales of EVs. The article argues that the latter's success is a reflection of the LSEV sector's focus on business model rather than technological innovation.

Practical implications

The article highlights the importance of monitoring innovations that come from within emerging economies and also illustrates the benefits that can come from commercially focused innovations rather than those based on technology.

Social implications

Finding alternatives to vehicles powered by fossil fuels is one of the most important challenges facing the world today. This article looks at the search for one alternative and examines its implications.


The article examines a business sector that is peculiarly Chinese and yet has potential implications far beyond China. It also contains recent sales figures and other data collected directly from sources in China.



Kimble, C. and Wang, H. (2013), "China's new energy vehicles: value and innovation", Journal of Business Strategy, Vol. 34 No. 2, pp. 13-20.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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