DETROIT Jan 13 The Chinese government is said
to be looking to prepare at least 10 million car parking spots
for electric vehicles by 2020 in a new comprehensive policy due
to be announced soon, a top executive at a local automaker said
China relies on foreign oil for more than half of its oil
consumption and is looking to promote alternative fuel vehicles
in the world's biggest auto market, whose growth topped 30
percent last year to 18 million units.
"The government is working on a plan -- and I think it will
be announced very, very soon -- and is basically calling for
having, in 10 years, electric car parks of 10 million (units)
or above," Wang Dazong, president of Beijing Automotive
Industry Holding Co (BAIC), told an industry conference on the
sidelines of the Detroit auto show.
Another industry executive said Beijing is expected to
focus its efforts most on pure electric vehicles, as opposed to
gasoline-electric hybrids or hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
Automakers from BAIC to Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE), General
Motors Co (GM.N) and China's Geely (0175.HK) are all looking to
tap what looks set to become a huge market for battery-powered
electric vehicles, with some global automakers already
announcing a timeline for producing them locally in China.
China's Minister of Science and Technology was quoted by
state-owned Xinhua news agency in October as saying the
country's production of electric vehicles could reach 1 million
units by 2020, when many expect a total new-vehicle market of
Consumers can now get incentives worth 120,000 yuan
($18,170) to purchase an electric car in 10 to 20 cities, Wang
Wang said BAIC expects its own ratio of electric cars to be
around 5 percent by 2020, which he said is among the most
To support the electrification of cars, China is also
looking to cut back on coal, the cheapest but dirtiest fossil
fuel. It has already launched a major drive into hydropower
and, to a lesser extent, wind, gas and nuclear power to
supplement the coal sector, which provides about 70 percent of
The government is due to unveil a new alternative energy
plan within months to raise its targets for power generating
capacity from such sources by 2020. China is planning to invest
up to $1.5 trillion over five years in seven strategic
industries, sources have said.
Beijing had come under criticism from the auto industry
late last year for crafting a policy draft that would have
required foreign automakers to produce at least one of the
three core, high-tech components of electric vehicles in order
to qualify for incentives in China.
Wang said that requirement has since been dropped from the
policy outline given its controversial nature.
"Now, if a company wants to produce and sell electric cars
in China, they are free," the other industry executive said.
(Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)