Electric Cars Loom Large in China’s New Five-Year Plan
October 21, 2010 § 1 Comment
Today there are 2000 or so electric cars in China and the U.S. combined. The Chinese aim to increase that number—and quickly. This past weekend, as the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China met in a plenary session to consider the next (12th) five-year plan (2011-2015), the Minister of Science and Technology announced that China expected to increase annual production of electric cars to 1 million by the year 2020 (China Daily).
How? Apparently, the government has pledged $17 billion dollars in funding, to support research and development, to build recharging centers, and to subsidize buyers (in 26 selected cities) up to $8800 per vehicle.
The benefits? Lower carbon emissions in a country desperately in need of lower carbon emissions; reduced dependence on oil, in a country increasingly dependent on Africa and the Middle East to keep their cars running; and a huge head start for Chinese manufacturers in the design and production of a clean energy car, the automobile of the future.
It all makes you wonder: What is the U.S. doing? What is Washington thinking? And when China becomes the world’s leading producer of electric cars, will we bash the Chinese? Or will we bash ourselves?