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China: China’s drive for ‘green’ cars in neutral

Shanghai – Foreign and domestic car makers are struggling to sell environmentally friendly vehicles in China, the world’s largest car market, even as Beijing pumps billions into clean energy.

China wants five million “new energy” vehicles on the streets by 2020 to ease chronic pollution and reduce reliance on oil imports, but high prices, lack of infrastructure and consumer reluctance are creating major roadblocks.

The number of electric and hybrid vehicles currently in the country is tiny at about 100 000, mostly in government fleets, according to an industry estimate.

A salesperson at the main Shanghai showroom of Chinese car maker BYD said the dealer sold only one electric car and two hybrid cars – which combine a conventional internal combustion engine and an electric motor – last year.


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