Here is some good news for all of those who are afraid that China’s ravenous appetite for cars will drive the cost of gasoline to obscene levels. The Chinese government is seriously attacking the infrastructure conundrum that plagues EVs: By 2020, China wants to have at least 10 million car parking spots for electric vehicles.
“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 Reuters. As BAIC is owned by Beijing, Wang should know what he is talking about. BAIC expects its own ratio of electric cars to be around 5 percent by 2020.
An unnamed industry executive told Reuters that China will focus on pure electric vehicles, and move away from gasoline-electric hybrids or hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles.
Chinese can get incentives of up to $18,000 if they buy an EV in certain cities, but, as BYD can attest, the take-up has been anemic.
Once EVs take off en masse in China, where will all the power come from? China’s abundant coal provides about 70 percent of the country’s electricity. And it doesn’t make the air cleaner by doing that. China has started a big drive into hydropower and, to a lesser extent, wind, gas and nuclear. At the end of the day, it will most likely be the latter that powers all those cars.
Now back to the fears of expensive gasoline: By 2020, Chinese car sales are expected to be 40 million a year, nearly 60 percent of today’s global car production. If 5 percent of those get powered from the grid, there still will be 38 million a year that consume gasoline. If there will be any left.