In China, we meet a modern-day Thomas Edison who helped give birth to the country's "knockoff" electric car industry. Chinese consumers in second-tier cities can't get enough of these small, cheap electric cars that require 6 hours of charging to go 75 miles -- at a maximum of 35 mph. Video journalist Jimmy Wang produced the video for TIME and the Asia Society.
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More than 200,000 Prius cars were sold in Japan, three times the number from 2008. Hybrids account for 10% of auto sales in Japan, compared to 3% percent in the U.S. In 2009, China surpassed the U.S. as the world's largest car market. American auto sales dipped 21% to about 10.5 million. Will the United States ever regain its stature as an auto industry powerhouse?