The Chinese electric car market is forecast to become the world’s largest. Sales are estimated to be between 220,000 and 250,000 vehicles, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. This represents at least one-third of global electric vehicle sales, as the total is expected to increase to 600,000 cars.
Currently, the United States is the world’s largest consumer of electric vehicles, estimated at 180,000 units. With these new figures, the Chinese electric car market is looking like it will catch up with ease.
Industry growth has been largely attributed to the government’s influence, including policies, subsidies and tax cuts. With air quality concerns, electric vehicles are providing an alternative mode of transport to help lessen emissions.
In Beijing, for example, the government declared that electric vehicles were exempt from rush-hour restrictions. Current restrictions require vehicles to be off the road one day a week. Subsidies and tax cuts are provided to purchasers and carmakers alike to make the vehicles more accessible.
With any rapid development, it is important for quality, and not just quantity, to be the focus. The deputy secretary-general, Xu Yanhua, believes that is a big part of keeping the industry development sustainable. The safety and quality of batteries, in particular, should be supervised carefully.
In the first 10 months of the year, the Chinese electric car market shot upwards, building to 290 percent growth year-on-year, with 171,145 units sold. China’s central government has set a goal of having 5 million green cars on the road by 2020. Green cars include battery powered, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell models.