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Green and clean car promotions begin to pay dividends (3)

By Qu Yingpu and He Wei (China Daily)

13:32, March 13, 2012

"But the shortage of recharging stations outside Jiading has made it impractical to take my hybrid anywhere other than the office," she said, sighing. Otherwise, she said, "I would have sold my old car in a jiffy."

China's strategy to develop new energy cars has gained sufficient ground on many fronts. When coal imports began to exceed exports in 2009, the government saw the urgent need to reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels and launched a campaign to widen the use of alternative energy sources.

The country also faces the challenge of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in every sector of the economy. An area that has raised great concern is emissions caused by the explosive growth of the car population in the many sprawling urban districts. As a result, great emphasis has been placed on the development of green cars that can be widely accepted by consumers.

On the policy front, the development of the electric vehicle industry has been set as a priority of the Ministry of Science and Technology since 2001. The resulting "863 Electric-Drive Fuel Cell Vehicle Project", a State-level, high-tech development plan, received an initial investment of 800 million yuan, said Wang Tianwei, policy director of the policy coordination department of Jiading Auto City.

On the regulatory front, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and the National Development and Reform Commission passed at least 20 new regulations in the past decade to regulate and promote wider use of hybrid and electric cars.

These combined efforts centered on a multiple of tax incentives to manufacturers as well as price subsidies to customers. The original target was to make the country a world leader in electric vehicles by putting 500,000 units on the road by 2011. But held back by technology constraints and policy coordination, the deadline has been extended to 2015.

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