China State Council Targets 5 Million Plug-In Vehicles on the Road by 2020

By · April 26, 2012

Nissan LEAF connector

The Nissan LEAF is one of several plug-in vehicles that will soon launch in China.

If you thought President Obama's goal of putting 1 million plug-in cars on US roads by 2015 is ambitous, consider China's goals for electrified vehicles. China’s State Council, the country's most powerful state organ, is soon expected to adopt a set of guidelines to foster immediate growth in the EV segment—with the target of putting 5 million plug-in on the road by 2020. By 2015, the target is 500,000 plug-in hybrids and electric cars, in what has become the world's largest auto market.

The State Council outlined the primary steps to achieve these targets:

  • Establishing a research and development system to produce breakthroughs in core technologies.
  • Accelerating pilot demonstrations and expanding subsidies and tax breaks to support private purchases.
  • Building of an extensive public quick-charge infrastructure.

China has repeatedly tried to position itself as the future EV world-leader. Perhaps the latest restatement of ambitious goals will start to address a lack of clarity regarding how lofty targets will be achieved. But China has been proposing big EV plans for years, and only has a few test programs to show so far. Time will tell if the newest government's efforts to invest in EVs can overcome economic fundamentals: EVs are much more expensive than gas-powered cars and Chinese car buyers have been hesitant to spend thousands of dollars more for a personal car that achieves the state's energy and environmental objectives.

New to EVs? Start here

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