China continues to take aggressive measures to boost adoption of “new energy” vehicles. Officials announced this week that the current incentive scheme, which expires in 2015, will be replaced by a new program that lasts through 2020.
Buyers of EVs, PHEVs and fuel-cell vehicles will be eligible for subsidies of up to 55,000 yuan ($8,834) – a slight reduction from the 60,000 yuan offered under current rules. Buyers of pure electric busses will receive up to 500,000 yuan. Only domestic brands will qualify for the subsidies.
China’s production of new energy cars increased fivefold in the first 11 months of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013, according to Reuters. However, consumer interest in EVs seems to be slow to catch on, perhaps due to a lack of charging infrastructure.
Shenzhen recently became the eighth Chinese city to announce a cap on new-vehicle registrations, with one fifth of the registration slots reserved for plug-in vehicles. Unfortunately, similar measures in Beijing don’t seem to be very successful. This year, the majority of residents who won EV registration slots didn’t purchase vehicles before the deadline.
Most Chinese live in multi-unit apartment buildings, so public charging infrastructure is seen as crucial. However, the country has no single fast-charging standard, and the number of available stations is paltry compared to the US or Japan.