Green Ma­chines

The pop­u­lar­ity of new-en­ergy ve­hi­cles makes an im­por­tant con­tri­bu­tion to China’s green de­vel­op­ment By Xia Yuanyuan

Beijing Review - - Business -

Due to low costs and emis­sions, newen­ergy ve­hi­cles (NEVs) are be­com­ing in­creas­ingly pop­u­lar world­wide. On the streets of Bei­jing, NEVs are dis­tin­guish­able by their six-digit, bright green li­cense plates. And a quick look around the streets of the cap­i­tal will re­veal more and more of these unique plates on dis­play as this form of trans­port gains in pop­u­lar­ity.

Tak­ing cog­nizance of this pop­u­lar­ity from an in­creas­ingly en­vi­ron­men­tally con­scious pub­lic, on March 1, the Na­tional NEV Tech­nol­ogy In­no­va­tion Cen­ter was un­veiled in the Bei­jing Eco­nomic-Tech­no­log­i­cal De­vel­op­ment Area. The cen­ter will co­or­di­nate the de­vel­op­ment of the in­dus­try sup­ported by the Min­istry of Science and Tech­nol­ogy and the Bei­jing Mu­nic­i­pal Government.

NEVs are ve­hi­cles pow­ered by non­tra­di­tional fuel such as elec­tric cars. Thanks to fa­vor­able government poli­cies, China’s NEV mar­ket has seen rapid growth in re­cent years.

China has been the world’s largest mar­ket for NEVs for three con­sec­u­tive years. Ac­cord­ing to the China As­so­ci­a­tion of Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers (CAAM), NEV out­put and sales jumped by 142.4 per­cent and 149.2 per­cent year on year to reach 232,000 and 225,000 in the first four months of 2018. For 2017, a to­tal of 777,000 NEVs were sold in the Chi­nese mar­ket, up 53.3 per­cent year on year.

Charged up

Li Xian, an of­fice worker in Bei­jing, bought an NEV last year im­me­di­ately af­ter re­ceiv­ing his li­cense plate. In Bei­jing, those who want to ob­tain NEVs have to join a wait­ing list for li­cense plates af­ter sub­mit­ting an ap­pli­ca­tion form.

“Ac­tu­ally, an elec­tric car was not my first choice. Charg­ing was the first prob­lem that made me hes­i­tant,” Li said. But his con­cerns were dis­pelled when the seller set up an elec­tric charg­ing point in the park­ing lot of his apart­ment block. “It is con­ve­nient as the car can be fully charged within eight hours of get­ting home,” Li added. Ac­cord­ing to data from the China Elec­tric Ve­hi­cle Charg­ing In­fras­truc­ture Pro­mo­tion Al­liance, by Jan­uary, the to­tal num­ber of charg­ing points in China had reached 450,000. Of this to­tal, 220,000 are pub­licly avail­able.

Ad­di­tion­ally, car man­u­fac­tur­ers have made great achieve­ments in de­vel­op­ing bat­ter­ies that al­low greater range. NEVs ca­pa­ble of a range of 400 km and above on one charge came into the mar­ket ear­lier this year, which has sat­is­fied con­sumers’ re­quire­ment on in­creas­ing mileage.

To pro­mote the in­dus­try, the Chi­nese Government is­sued a pol­icy pro­vid­ing sub-

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