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China: Unlike U.S., China’s Smaller Electric Vehicle Plan Puts Local Firms First

China says it will be happy to spend $13B USD to put half a million EVs on its streets by 2015

In contrast with China’s plans for high-speed rail, which call for a massive $1T USD project that dwarfs plans in the United States, China’s electric vehicle (EV) hopes fall far short compared to its U.S. peers.

I. China — the Perfect Home for EVs, But Little Progress

China seems like the perfect place for EVs – it has hundreds of millions of people living in dense urban areas with short commutes. But thus far the nation has lagged in the development of EV technology.

The country has finally unveiled a decisive plan to turn the corner with EV deployment. Dubbed the New Energy Vehicle Development plan, it aims to spend $15B USD between now and 2020 to push EVs and hybrid electric vehicles on the streets of China.

That expense still falls short of $25B USD that the U.S. has spent on EVs, and the $10B extra the Obama administration has called for to be spent over the next several years.

The goals of China’s plan are scaled down as well. Obama hopes to have 1 million plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles (PHEV and BEV) on the street by 2015 (the 2016 model year), while China only hopes to have 500,000. China also estimates it will have 1 million hybrids — which would still be far less than the 1.89 million hybrids that are currently on U.S. streets.
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