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Natural Awakenings

Dreaming Big: China Vies to be World Leader in Electric Cars

Jun 01, 2009 03:00AM

Chinese leaders have adopted a plan aimed at turning their country into one of the leading producers of hybrid and all-electric vehicles within three years, and becoming the world leader in electric car and bus production after that.  To some extent, China is making a virtue of a liability; it’s behind other countries in production of gas-powered vehicles. By skipping the current conventional technology, China hopes to get a jump on the next.

The Chinese government is offering electric car purchase incentives to taxi fleets and local government agencies, with plans for consumer tax credits. Research subsidies for electric car designs are rising rapidly. The state electricity grid has been ordered to set up electric car charging stations in China’s three largest cities, Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin. Anticipated hurdles include serious problems with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries currently manufactured in China and the hefty cost of China’s current battery pack and electric motor technology.

Source: The New York Times

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