“Competition is getting more fierce,” said industry analyst Paul Gong of UBS.
Communist leaders have been promoting electrics for 15 years in hopes of cleaning smog-choked Chinese cities and gaining an early lead in a promising industry.
General Motors, Volkswagen, Nissan and other global majors are developing models to suit Chinese tastes. They have money and technology, but local rivals have experience: brands including BYD Auto and BAIC Group have been selling low-priced electrics for a decade.
At the Shanghai show, which opens to the public Saturday, automakers plan to display dozens of electrics, from luxury SUVs to micro-compacts priced under $10,000. They aim to compete with gasoline-powered models on performance, cost and looks.