This year’s Shanghai auto show highlights the global industry’s race to make electric cars Chinese drivers want to buy as Beijing winds down subsidies that promoted sales.

Communist leaders are shifting the burden to automakers by imposing mandatory sales targets for electrics, adding to financial pressure on them amid a painful sales slump. Chinese purchases of pure-electric and hybrid sedans and SUVs soared 60% last year to 1.3 million — half the global total — but overall auto sales shrank 4.1% to 23.7 million.

Buyers of electrics were lured with subsidies of up to 50,000 yuan ($7,400) per car, but that support was cut by half in January and ends next year.

FILE - In this April 25, 2018, file photo, attendees take photos of the E-SEED electric concept car during a press conference by Chinese automaker BYD at the China Auto Show in Beijing. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)
FILE – In this April 25, 2018, file photo, attendees take photos of the E-SEED electric concept car during a press conference by Chinese automaker BYD at the China Auto Show in Beijing. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

General Motors, Volkswagen, Nissan and other global majors are developing models to suit Chinese tastes.

FILE - In this April 29, 2018, file photo, visitors watch an electric-powered SUV manufactured by Chinese automaker NIO during the China Auto Show in Beijing. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)
FILE – In this April 29, 2018, file photo, visitors watch an electric-powered SUV manufactured by Chinese automaker NIO during the China Auto Show in Beijing. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, File)

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