China's e-vehicle development falls short

The number of electric vehicles adopted by Chinese users in 25 designated cities to promote these automobiles is well short of the Chinese government's original target.
Written by Kevin Kwang, Contributor

The development of China's electric vehicles market has not met up to government's standards, with slow car sales due to limits in the car technology and supporting infrastructure.

A China Daily report Saturday, citing figures compiled by China's State Information Center, highlighted that the government had designated 25 cities as trial zones to promote energy-efficient, new energy vehicles in 2009. It had expected the number of such vehicles on roads in these cities to reach 52,621 by end-2012.

However, as of end-2011, the number of such vehicles on the roads stood at 11,949, it noted. And sales of vehicles this year will not provide the boost the industry needs to hit government targets.

According to statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, China's major automakers sold 6,019 new energy vehicles in the first eight months of this year--2,661 electric cars and 3,358 hybrid cars. It is estimated that annual sales of these cars will reach around 9,000 units, it added.

Currently, the biggest buyer of such vehicles is the government as it purchases them for public transport and city cleanup services. The general public, on the other hand, are reluctant to pay for these cars given the limits in technical maturity, supporting infrastructure such as charging stations, its performance and economic efficiency, the report noted.

Editorial standards