Hybrid Technology in China Overview
Technological industries today build machines which can run a combination of two forms of fuel. This is especially the case in the automotive industry. They are able to use gasoline and battery or electricity and diesel alternately. Some vehicles that come to the market from Chinese firms are already equipped with the hybrid technology. Hybrid technology affects several sectors of the economy particularly the technological culture of the Chinese and just like any other technology, its application also comes with its ethical and moral concerns.
The Chinese government’s support towards technology has enhanced China’s capacity to develop and expand its hybrid technology.
Factors that have promoted the Growth of Hybrid Technology
China pursues communist policies and has relatively stable political system and has experienced a very high economic growth over the last decade. Its economy comprises of many manufacturing companies both local and international and its educational system has also been reformed to reflect its technological demands. Science and technology is part of Chinese social culture.
The growth of China’s hybrid technology is supported by its strong economic conditions. Over the past years, China’s technology has significantly developed and can be rated to have relatively high-technology. China’s high economic growth of over 9% annually also support the growth of hybrid technology as this means that there is circular flow of income facilitated by availability of direct foreign investments from foreign firms (Zhang, n. d. ). Chinese government trade policies also encourage investments in the country (Oxford University Press, 2007). Besides, the Chinese market is huge and consists of a population above 1 billion. This means that China has high consumption power for the automotive machines that is produced through the hybrid technology (Oxford University Press, 2007).
Secondly, the government also plays a significant role in supporting the growth and development of the hybrid technology. As a member of the G8 and the International Energy Agency, the government supports the hybrid technology so as to maintain as well as to improve systems that could help cope with the changing environmental situations. The government therefore promotes rational energy policies that encourage the adoption of hybrid technology (International Energy Agency, 2009).
Thirdly, its educational system also enhances the growth and development of hybrid technology. China has also reformed its education and training systems to reflect the needs of increasing technological advances. The Chinese government acknowledges that there is need to achieve sustainable human development to support its technological industry and therefore invests in its human capital (Zhang, n.d).
With all these advantages, China’s hybrid technology has grown over these years to achieve its high status that exists today. China has come a long way to be where it is technologically. It economic opening in 1979, was very significant in its technological developments.
History of Hybrid Technology in China
China has acquired its technology over the years from other developed economies. Hybrid technology spread from America to Europe and from Europe to Japan and finally to other countries like China. China acquired foreign technology to help it restore and develop its economy in the first decade of the formation of People’s Republic of China. During that time, it highly depended on the Soviet Union to provide the foreign technology.
China’s hybrid technology development was highly influenced by its reform policy adopted in 1979. Development of hybrid technology in China began some times after China’s reform policy in 1979 which opened doors for more investment and trade in the country (Zhang, n. d.).
Secondly, foreign firms and nations played significant role in the growth and development of hybrid technology in China. Hybrid technology developments especially in the automobile industry in China first depended on foreign companies from other countries like America, Japan and developed European countries like Germany (Pecht, 2007). Foreign nations provided technical training to young Chinese technicians in their universities and corporations (Pecht, 2007).
Thirdly, the idea of joint ventures has enabled Chinese companies acquire technologies and to advance them. Over the last 20 years, Chinese automobile companies have been forming joint ventures with other foreign companies to obtain more advanced technologies in the industry (Pecht, 2007).
Just like any other activity, hybrid technology has also come with its impacts both positive and negative. Concerns continue to rise about it’s the country’s capacity to stimulate technological innovations as well as the impacts of the technology on the quality of life.
Impacts of Hybrid Technology
Hybrid technology has changed the social trends among the Chinese as they tend to favor the technology due to its advantages. According to Zhang (n.d), the technology has significantly increased economic as well as social choices for Chinese people. It has also positively contributed to China’s high economic growth and income distribution among the Chinese population as the government encourages more investment into the country and supports distribution of industries across the country (Zhang, n.d). Thus the technology has increased the level of employment in the country and hence increased GNP and standard of living among its population. According to Cooke and Zhang, (2010), hybrid technology has reduced the Chinese government spending on oil fuel. Moreover, the need for development of more advanced technologies like the hybrid technology has improved political stability in the country (Zhang, n.d). The country has to attract more investors into the country and therefore the political class has the responsibility to ensure that the country maintains a business environment that can facilitate the growth of technology. According to Zhang, the Chinese leaders strive to eliminate political, economic as well as social problems that might threaten political stability. However, the industry also contributes to high environmental costs which may as well cancel its economic benefits (Pecht, 2007).
Foreign firms in China face the problem of losing their intellectual property rights behind their hybrid technologies. The Chinese government seeks to compel foreign firms to reveal technologies which they use to produce their products (Audi, 2010). Some of the automotive machines are also not as efficient in fuel consumption as customers are made to believe. According to Brignall (2006), previous surveys reveal that hybrid cars are still harmful to the environment. Besides, some hybrid cars built with self-changing electric motor consume almost twice the fuel consumed by the most fuel-efficient diesel cars. This means that consumers are being coned of their money as they are persuaded to buy the vehicles due to their low fuel consumption (Brignall, 2006). To contain the environmental problems associated with the hybrid cars, the government has adopted the recommendations of the International Energy Agency (International Energy Agency, 2010).
Indeed, the Chinese government has enhanced the development and expansion of the hybrid technology. Except for the intellectual property rights infringements, the government has facilitated the growth of the industry through favorable policies. However, much still needs to be done to ensure full compliance with environmental laws.
Audi. (2010). The problem with EV and hybrid technology in China. Web.
Brignall, M. (2006). Green claims for hybrid cars fail to add up, says which? Survey. London: The Guardian News and Media Limited.
Cooke, P., & Zhang, F. (2010). The green vehicle trend: Electric, plug-in hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell. Cardiff: Cardiff University.
International Energy Agency. Technology roadmap: Electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Web.
Oxford University Press. (2007). Gillespie: Foundations of economics. Web.
Pecht, M. (2007). China’s electronic industry. Hong Kong: City of University of Hong Kong.
Zhang, A. (n. d. ). Economic growth and human development in China. Occasional Paper 28. Web.