China Still Gaining Speed on its e-Vehicle Programs

China Still Gaining Speed on its e-Vehicle ProgramsIt has been three years since China launched its electric car program with great enthusiasm in 13 of its major cities which later increased to 25. But still the country is still trying to solve the problems attached and bothering the project since the launch. Everybody was optimistic as everyone believed that new energy vehicles will become the new trend, but a lot of questions were made especially in technology issues and the lack of charging stations.

Shenzhen for example has 62 charging stations for its electric vehicles but around five is being utilized to serve more than 1,000 private electric vehicles and plug in hybrids. The rest of the charging stations are used for public vehicles such as the city’s e-buses and e-taxis. Its hard to build more charging stations since land in which to build them is too expensive and scarce. Plus the expected demand for e-vehicles has not caught up the consumer’s interest yet even with the subsidies being offered by the government.

Even with subsidies of up to 120,000 yuan was offered for the purchase of a new energy vehicle, still it failed to attract potential buyers as many of them opted to wait for battery prices to decrease and reports on the safety and reliable technology of these e-vehicles. In 2010 there were only 8,159 e-vehicles sold in China including those in the pilot programs especially in the e-taxi and e buses program.

In china there are 243 charging stations and 1,328 charging poles that are installed in car parks and several public areas and are fully operational in the 25 pilot cities. Recently Beijing approved a plan for the country to move faster in the development of its new-energy vehicle and energy saving industry renewing its goal to have 500,000 thousand new energy vehicles on its road by 2015 and 5 million new energy vehicles on the road by 2020.

Due to this plan local automakers Dongfeng Motor Group Co and SAIC Motor, pledged to invest $441 million and $1.9 billion dollars respectively in the manufacturing and developing of green vehicles. Global automakers BMW and Nissan are also working with the local government to allow the entry of their E-mini and leaf cars.

In 2011, Shenzhen led the pilot cities in the number of new energy vehicles which amounted to 3,000. And the city have asked BYD for an additional orders of 500 more e-taxis and 1,000 e-buses bring its fleet of new energy vehicles to 5,000. Still it’s a far cry form the plan of putting 34,000 new energy vehicles on the roads under its three year plan.

As of now the city is creating a plan for 2013-2020 schemes for new energy vehicles that will extend subsidies for new energy vehicle buyers but will not sponsor any charging stations.

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