China planning to be world leader in electric cars
Chinese leaders have adopted a plan aimed at turning the country into one of the leading producers of hybrid and all-electric vehicles within three years, and making it the world leader in electric cars and buses after that.
The goal, which radiates from the very top of the Chinese government, suggests that Detroit’s Big Three, already struggling to stay alive, will face even stiffer foreign competition on the next field of automotive technology than they do today.
To some extent, China is making a virtue of a liability. It is behind the United States, Japan and other countries when it comes to making gas-powered vehicles, but by skipping the current technology, China hopes to get a jump on the next…
China’s intention, in addition to creating a world-leading industry that will produce jobs and exports, is to reduce urban pollution and decrease its dependence on oil, which comes from the Mideast and travels over sea routes controlled by the United States Navy.
But electric vehicles may do little to clear the country’s smog-darkened sky or curb its rapidly rising emissions of global warming gases. China gets three-fourths of its electricity from coal, which produces more soot and more greenhouse gases than other fuels.
I get tired and bored explaining coal realities to ignoramuses who grew up after the coal era in the United States – and don’t understand history or reality. 50% of China’s coal-based pollution comes from heating and cooking. Until gas and electricity replace coal as home fuel, the problem will continue. China’s working at it. Talking heads won’t notice anything until after it’s sorted.
It took England 20 years to make the changeover. It’s why London was called Auld Reekie.
Beyond manufacturing, subsidies of up to $8,800 are being offered to taxi fleets and local government agencies in 13 Chinese cities for each hybrid or all-electric vehicle they purchase. The state electricity grid has been ordered to set up electric car charging stations in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin.
Government research subsidies for electric car designs are increasing rapidly. And an interagency panel is planning tax credits for consumers who buy alternative energy vehicles.
China wants to raise its annual production capacity to 500,000 hybrid or all-electric cars and buses by the end of 2011, from 2,100 last year, government officials and Chinese auto executives said. By comparison, CSM Worldwide, a consulting firm that does forecasts for automakers, predicts that Japan and South Korea together will be producing 1.1 million hybrid or all-electric light vehicles by then and North America will be making 267,000.
Interesting article. Not written by the most knowledgeable people on NYT staff. They have no conception of the fact that at city speeds an electric vehicle easily outpowers a gasoline-powered vehicle.
Still, it might get some folks thinking about alternative energy tech – and the future.