TAIPEI, Taiwan – Eric Wang understands this island nation’s place in the global automotive industry, and it’s not making cars.

Instead, Taiwanese companies can and should continue to be indispensable links in the supply chain, providing world-class parts and technologies at competitive prices, says the

general manager-sales and product marketing for Renesas, the world’s largest automotive  semiconductor manufacturer. The company is based in Japan, but Wang works at Renesas offices here.

When people look at a BMW, they see German engineering. When they see a Cadillac, they think of American styling. At some point, Wang hopes people around the world will recognize Taiwanese technology, like the “Intel Inside” branding of microprocessors.

“From outside the car, you cannot see Taiwan. But Taiwan (technology) is inside,” Wang tells journalists visiting the recent EV Taiwan trade show here dedicated to electric vehicles.

“So we should understand the whole supply chain,” he says. “For Taiwanese companies, their goal is to be a very valuable part of the supply chain. They are trying to provide very good solutions, very good cost-efficient products, as suppliers.”

For years, Taiwan has been a reliable source of auto parts, and now the region is gearing up production of motors, batteries, controls, chargers, connectors and other components necessary for the nascent EV industry. As many as 150 Taiwanese companies are active in the EV sector.

Some companies here are producing battery-driven cars and commercial vehicles for emerging markets and, if a domestic charging infrastructure can be installed, for Taiwan.

Cost is a significant barrier for both the government and consumers. Conventional cars are extremely expensive in Taiwan, and EVs will be even moreso.

As a result, scooters are popular. There are about 11 million on this island of 23 million people. Nearly all of the scooters run with gasoline engines, but several local companies are trying to attract consumers to electric scooters.