China has set up an ambitious goal of getting 5 million or more electric cars on the streets, and this is not just a pipe dream – the government is taking active measures to speed up the production by building more charging stations.
Charging stations are almost always the limiting factor when it comes to electric cars. Everyone from the Chinese domestic firm BYD Co Ltd to U.S. rival Tesla Motors are trying to install more and more chargers. At the moment, there isn’t a national standard for these chargers, but authorities decide to change that, and also invest more in the building of these chargers. National Energy Administration deputy head Zheng Zhajie said:
“It’s like with phone chargers, it’s a bit all over the place,” he told Xinhua. “Everyone has a pile of different chargers and a pile of batteries. Now we’re trying to improve things, moving towards unifying and standardizing.”
According to him, at least 10% of all Chinese car park facilities will feature electric car chargers, an impressive figure for a country that’s starting from scratch. But that’s not even all of it: China cut taxes on small-engine cars last week, and electric car sales have quadrupled since 2009, although the overall car market has slowed down.
A main part of their strategy is to implement electric taxis and buses – many electric taxis are already deployed in major cities like Shenzen, and they plan to have over 100,000 of them on the streets by 2020. The government has also offered tax cuts for green vehicles and proposed extending subsidies, mostly for domestic producers, to stimulate their economy as they reach their targets.