China targets 5 mln electric or hybrid autos by 2020

April 19, 2012

China is making the industrialization of pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid automobiles the focus of its new plan to develop energy-saving and alternative-energy vehicles by 2020.

The measure, aimed in part at upgrading the auto industry, was adopted by the State Council on Wednesday in the long-awaited industry development plan on energy saving and new-energy vehicles, according to a report in the China daily.

 The plan proposed for the first time that pure electric vehicles will be the strategic orientation for China to upgrade its big, but not yet strong automobile industry. In addition, the industrialization of pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles will be the industry priority, along with the wide use of hybrid and energy-saving combustion-engine powered automobiles.

 The plan set the target of an accumulative production and sales of 500,000 pure electric and plug-in vehicles by 2015, and more than 5 million by 2020.

 It also aimed to lower the average fuel consumption of passenger cars produced in 2015 to 6.9 liters per 100 kilometers, and further to 5 liters per 100 kilometers in 2020.

 To achieve this, the government will encourage the purchase and use of energy-saving vehicles through subsidies, and accelerate the establishment of charging facilities for the electric vehicles.

 However, Zhong Shi, an independent auto analyst based in Beijing said that the market still has the final say for the industry's future. "Customers' choice is fatal. The vehicles accepted by the customers will lead the industry in the future."

China has been on the forefront of new-energy vehicles in the recent years, since the government put heavy effort into supporting the sector. Almost all major automakers have set their green car development vision in the world's largest vehicle market.