Business Model Innovation in the Chinese Electric Vehicle Industry

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium: Is the Second Automobile Revolution on the Way? , Paris (2011)


automobile industry, business model innovation, China, electric vehicles, leapfrogging.


This paper contains a case study of a leading producer of low-speed vehicles, the Shifeng Group. It looks at the future trajectory of the market for Low-Speed Electric Vehicles (LSEVs) in China and examines the various constraints and challenges it faces. It considers the implications of the growth of this market for mainstream automobile industry and uses theory from business models to look at the relationship between technological innovation and business model innovation, particularly as they relate to emerging markets. It reviews the emergence of the low-speed vehicle as a separate category, looks at some of the problems faced when trying to define an LSEV formally and highlights the role that institutional factors play in the emergence of new markets in China. The paper concludes with three scenarios for how the market for LSEVs in China might develop over the coming years.

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