Adding Hybrids to China’s Green Vehicle Plans

Tim Dunne

As China continues its quest to become the world’s leader in electric vehicle (EV) development and sales, cold hard reality may finally be starting to enter into the country’s policy decision-making on alternative vehicles.

According to Automotive News China, the Chinese government is considering adding hybrid electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles to its list of “green vehicles” that are eligible for government subsidies. Currently, only pure-electric vehicles and extended-range electric vehicles receive incentives for vehicle development and sales.

If the reported shift toward adding hybrids is accurate, it is the right move, for several reasons.

Global sales of hybrid vehicles in 2011 are expected to reach 1.2 million units, compared to global EV sales of less than 40,000 units. The reason for the disparity is clear: While hybrid vehicle technology has been tried and proven over the last 10-15 years, the viability of EV technology is still in question. Continue reading ›

Creating An Electric Vehicle Industry in China Will Be No Easy Task

Tim Dunne

Over the past several years, international media have been reporting with increasing frequency about China’s intention to lead the world in the development of hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles (EVs). Since we are at the beginning of Year Three of China’s green-vehicle campaign, now might be a good time to assess how much progress has been made.

The short answer is, unfortunately, not much.

Total sales of hybrid vehicles in China in 2010 were estimated to be in the thousands of units. By comparison, hundreds of thousands of hybrids were sold in Japan, the United States and Europe. If one considers only the number of EVs sold in China in 2010, the sales figures are believed to be even smaller than for hybrids. Continue reading ›