The Chinese government appears to be dead-set on electrifying its car fleet. And if any government usually gets what it wants, then it’s the Chinese. Generous subsidies beckon: Some cities in China match a central government subsidy of 60,000 yuan with their own 60,000 yuan largesse. That’s 120,000 yuan, or in today’s greenbacks (forget the rumor that the yuan is pegged to the $, no more) that’s $18,515. Even more intriguing: Beijing promises to do away with its license plate lottery for EVs.
Two problems: No EVs to buy, and no charging stations.
State media promises that the charging stations will be there. If a country can build an 819 miles high speed railway from Shanghai to Beijing in three years and finish a year earlier than planned , then it should be able to put up some pylons with plugs.
But what about the cars?
Every Chinese maker seems to have one at every auto show, but that’s about it. The Japanese seem to be farthest ahead with EVs. The Nissan Leaf is in mass production. Now, CarNewsChina says that Toyota will bring the new RAV4 EV and iQ EV to the Chinese auto market next year, both as imports. Both cars are tentatively scheduled for production in 2012. The RAV4 EV is a Tesla project. The plug-in iQ is being developed at Toyota.
Now what about the subsidies? Early reports said the subsidies are for Made in China cars only, which could have been a WTO trigger. Now CarNewsChina says that “the subsidy is for every electric car, imported and locally made.”