As the Chinese authorities continue building the necessary infrastructure, electric vehicles can be expected to become increasingly popular in the coming years, which will help promote a greener economy by saving energy and reducing emissions.
In a guideline for the development of charging facilities for new-energy vehicles issued on Tuesday, the National Development and Reform Commission, the country's top economic planner, set out concrete and practical steps for popularising the use of electric-powered vehicles.
The guideline says that the parking lots for newly built residential communities must be equipped with charging posts, and fast charging for inter-city transport will be first realised in the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, and the Yangtze River and Pearl River deltas, the three regions that usually suffer the most from smog.
The NDRC proposes that an additional 12,000 charging stations and 4.8 million charging posts be in place nationwide by 2020.
Encouraging the use of more energy-saving and environmentally friendly electric vehicles is one of the measures the government is pursuing to curtail greenhouse gas emissions and create a new driver for economic growth. A series of preferential policies and supporting measures, including tax exemptions, subsidies and the requirement that government bodies buy green cars, have been put in place to promote their use and popularity.
With such substantial government support, China’s electric car production in October jumped eightfold year on year to 50,700 units, according to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, and an increasing number of people have chosen to buy them.
However, due to their relatively short range before they need recharging, and the scarcity of available charging facilities, many people still have doubts about buying an electric car.
The intensified building of charging stations and posts nationwide will relieve would-be electric car buyers of such worries and thus remove one of the biggest obstacles in the way of greener driving.