China: billions of dollars in subsidies still don’t address the electrification issue image

The world’s largest auto market has pledged to a deep cultural change that would bring to the forefront the ambitious plan to have five million electric cars on the roads – as it fights pollution.

But the very ambitious strategy might soon hit a big snag – the battery operated or even fuel cell electric cars need one thing that traditional automobiles don’t – a new refueling infrastructure. For example, many people that made the switch to a plug-in hybrid – which allows the car to be charged or run on the traditional gasoline – find the electric capabilities wasted. And now, just as global oil prices have dropped around 40% since June, the incentives to drive electric cars are even lower for people in China.

The lack of recharging infrastructure has proven a critical problem globally for the early adopters of electric cars, but it’s even more problematic in China, just as the country’s government wants to cut greenhouse emissions and slash the dependence on imported oil. All around the world, not just China, the US or Germany – countries with a highly-developed infrastructure – the “range anxiety,” or fear of running out of power, has deeply hampered the adoption of electric cars.

Via Bloomberg