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China: Public sector should subsidize electric vehicle industry: official

Economic Affairs Minister Chang Chia-juch (張家祝) yesterday pledged public sector support for Taiwan’s fledgling electric vehicle industry.

Giving the opening address at an automotive trade show, Chang said that the Ministry of Economic Affairs is currently considering programs to effectively lower the costs of manufacturing, marketing and distributing electric vehicles, in an effort to promote their adoption by the general public. In times of surging international oil prices and rising environmental awareness, electric vehicle development is especially significant, said Chang during his address.

Chang indicated that currently, with the exception of batteries and motors, over 90 percent of key components of electric vehicles can be manufactured domestically, representing an ideal market for government subsidy schemes.

However, Chang listed several concerns relating to the use of electric vehicles, citing various constraints of the new technology. According to Chang, the greatest obstacle to the proliferation of electric vehicles is the difficulty in providing ample charging locations, and current technological constraints. Battery charging requires advancements, as idleness of one or two hours is impractical for daily use, said Chang, adding that charging stations may be placed at every gas station to ensure sufficient coverage.
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