China sets sights on electric vehicles to combat air pollutionMarch 16, 2013
Electric vehicles could solve the problem of air pollution
China has long had a problem with air pollution. Though some controversy has arisen over the Central Government censoring environmental data, suggesting that some of this data falls in the category of “state secrets,” it is no secret that the government has been fighting air pollution for some time. When China hosted the 2008 Olympic Games, the Central Government fully embraced the fact that the country has a problem with air pollution and worked to make Beijing, the city where the Games were held, much cleaner for the sake of athletes and those visiting from other countries. Now, air pollution has again been targeted as a problem for China, and electric vehicles may be the solution.
Beijing considers ambitious policies to promote electric vehicles
Beijing officials are working to boost the rate of adoption of electric vehicles throughout the city, believing that the proliferation of these vehicles could significantly decrease carbon emissions, thereby eliminating air pollution. One of the policies currently being proposed in Beijing calls for a $15,000 subsidy for electric vehicles, providing consumers with a financial incentive for purchasing electric vehicles and providing funds for automakers to bring such vehicles to the Chinese market.
License plate lottery may be eliminated
Another proposal facing Beijing officials involves the elimination of the city’s infamous license plate lottery. In Beijing, only those that receive approval from the state are able to own vehicles. This approval is, seemingly, given at random, hence the notion that it is a lottery. Those that are granted approval are able to obtain license plates for their vehicles. Eliminating this lottery is likely to help encouraging consumers to purchase vehicles. If consumers are directed to purchase electric vehicles, which could be made more affordable through state subsidies, then sales are likely to increase significantly.
Beijing works to bolster public charging infrastructure
Beijing is also working to expand its public charging infrastructure in order to make electric vehicles more attractive to consumers and less of a burden to own. Beijing expects that more than 5,000 new electric vehicles will hit the road this year, and the city plans to ensure that the public charging infrastructure is available to support this large influx of vehicles.