Imagine all of the cars and light-duty trucks in Washington and Oregon combined. Then imagine them all being either battery-electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids. That's what Chinese leaders have in mind by the end of the decade.
The China State Council is pushing for a combination of automotive industry production and public acceptance to allow for as many as five million plug-in vehicles to be on the roads in China by 2020, Green Car Congress reports.
The Chinese government is also looking to boost average new-car fuel economy to about 47 miles per gallon in 2020 from about 34 miles per gallon in 2015, when the State Council is targeting for about a half-million vehicles to be electric drive.
China will enact a combination of research and development funding and subsidies that will be used to boost sales of plug-ins. The government will also speed up the development of an electric-vehicle charging infrastructure and will tilt tax policies to be more plug-in friendly.
China was already expected to account for a substantial chunk of the more than 600,000 plug-in vehicles expected to be sold in Asia Pacific by 2017, as forecast by green-technology research firm Pike Research last year. The auto industry is certainly getting ready. This month, General Motors debuted a demonstration fleet of Chevrolet Volt extended-range plug-in vehicles in China. GM and the China Automotive Technology Research Center (CATARC) will operate and study the fleet for about a year. At the Beijing Motor Show this week, a number of plug-in vehicles were on display, like the CH Auto Lithia and the Venucia E-Concept.