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China: 5m greener vehicles on the streets by 2020

BEIJING, July 10 (Xinhuanet) –China has set a target of producing and selling 500,000 energy-efficient and alternative-energy vehicles a year by 2015, and five million vehicles by 2020.

The blueprint, announced by the State Council on Monday, has outlined generous subsidies to consumers and producers of the new generation of greener vehicles, as it aims to ease the country’s heavy dependence on imported oil, cut emissions, and speed up the restructuring of its automobile sector into a more environmentally sustainable model.

According to the details, there will be heavy government investment in the core technology needed to build a strong and globally competitive new-energy vehicle industry.

The short-term emphasis will be on developing pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, as well as wider usage of hybrid vehicles and energy-saving combustion engine automobiles.

The world’s largest auto market has set an accumulated production and sales target of 500,000 units of pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by 2015, and that will be increased tenfold to more than 5 million units by 2020.

The industrialization is also expected to help achieve an annual production capability of 2 million pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by 2020, the plans said.

It is hoped that the efforts outlined will reduce the average fuel consumption of passenger vehicles to 6.9 liters per hundred kilometers by 2015, and less than 5.9 liters per km for energy-saving cars. The figure will further be lowered to 5 liter per km for the passenger vehicles in 2020, and 4.5 for energy-conservative cars.

In May, the government announced it would provide a subsidy of 26.5 billion yuan (4.16 billion U.S. dollars) to stimulate purchases of energy-saving products – mainly automobiles and household appliances.

According to the Ministry of Finance’s website, the central government will also provide as much as 2 billion yuan in annual subsidies, starting this year, to support the manufacturing of new-energy vehicles, as well as encourage research related to energy-saving vehicles.

Another focus of the plan is the production of electric batteries.

The government said it hopes to have two or three leading batteries enterprises with annual production capacity of more than tens of billions of kilowatt hours, to strengthen the industry from upstream core parts and technology supply.

The plan aims to lower the price of batteries used for electric vehicles to 2 yuan for each kilowatt-hour by 2015 and 1.5 yuan a kilowatt-hour by 2020 as part of a stimulus for the new-energy vehicle industry. Companies focusing on battery and related technologies will also benefit from the new policies, said analysts.

Experts were positive in their reaction to the raft of new measures announced.
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