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 ›

China Adjusts Policy to Curb Congestion, Smog, Reliance on Oil Imports

Tim Dunne

China may be changing government policies as a way to slow down strong auto sales and to curb congestion on major city streets in Beijing and Shanghai—traffic is “beyond awful” there. For example, the way China’s government has managed to control sales in Shanghai in the past was that new-vehicle owners would have to pay a lump sum fee (something like the equivalent of $5,000 to $7,500) before being able to register a new vehicle. This has kept a lot of people out of the market.

In regard to cutting down on smog and emissions, China is still pushing ahead with electric vehicles (EVs) and is providing a 60,000 RMB (US $8,800) subsidy with the purchase of an EV. But like everywhere else, the changeover to alternative energy vehicles is going to be a long-term transition, requiring lots of time and investment. Continue reading ›