Chinese Cities Offer Subsidies for EV Purchases to Fight Pollution image

Some of China’s biggest cities will help buyers who decide to purchase electric vehicles, part of a strategy to encourage EV sales and deal with the pollution problem.

Again, the smoggy skies covering China and the pollution suffocating the cities have been on the top of the agenda at this year’s annual parliamentary session. Back in January, Premier Li Keqiang emphasized the importance of electric vehicles when he visited a BYD factory, where the automaker builds the e6 pure EV.

The Chinese government wants to see on the streets 10 times more EVs by 2015, but the local authorities are the ones who control the traffic management and many cities, among which the capital Beijing, do not have the necessary framework to consider this type of vehicles roadworthy.

Tianjin city does not have the means to issue EV license plate numbers and the capital can offer subsidies only for Shanghai-made vehicles.

Still, last month, the cities said they will help customers by offering subsidies for plug-in hybrids and pure electric vehicles from Chinese automakers such as Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group, SAIC Motors and the automaker backed by Warren Buffett, BYD. No matter how big the efforts, the government will not manage to reach its target of 500,000 EVs by 2015 and 5 million by 2020.

“This is the goal to strive toward, with the numerical targets putting pressure on car makers,” said Luo Xing’an, secretary general of the Guangdong Automobile Association. “But there’s no guarantee these targets will be met. The foundation of the industry is not yet solid.”