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Keeping It Green

By Lan Xinzhen (Beijing Review)

13:44, April 28, 2012

EV CONCEPT VEHICLE: The FT-EV electric concept vehicle is on show at the 7th China Changchun International Automobile Fair. New-energy vehicles, such as pure-electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles, have become a main part of the exhibition (JIANG LIN)

The Chinese Government has set a target of having 500,000 all-electric and plug-in vehicles on the road by 2015. However, technological stumbling blocks such as insufficient infrastructure must be tackled to clear the way for the sector's development. A more successful business model is also badly needed for the fledgling sector.

The State Council, or China's cabinet, adopted a development plan for energy-saving and new-energy vehicles (2012-20) on April 18 at its executive meeting, promising that pure electric vehicles will be the main strategic orientation for transforming China's auto industry.

"Prioritizing purely electricity-driven vehicles will be the major strategic route for China to transform the auto industry. And the current focus is to promote the industrialization of pure electric cars and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles," said Premier Wen Jiabao at the meeting.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles utilize rechargeable batteries that can be restored to full charge by connecting a plug to an external electric power source.

According to the plan, China's accumulative output of pure electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles will rise to 500,000 units by 2015 and 5 million units by 2020. The country will try to lower average fuel consumption of automobiles produced in 2015 to 0.069 liters per km and those produced in 2020 will see their average consumption drop to 0.05 liters per km. The plan also underscored the necessity of requiring domestic manufacturers to become capable of independently producing state-of-the-art components for new-energy cars.

In a bid to accomplish the above-mentioned goals, the Chinese Government has geared up a series of incentives, including implementing innovation projects, expanding the pilot program for subsidizing private ownership of new-energy cars, building more charging stations, creating more facilities for recycling batteries, improving the unified standard system, enhancing fiscal support and actively introducing international cooperation in the field.

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