China To Seriously Subsidize EVs

china to seriously subsidize evs

China’s carmakers better get their pure plug-ins ready. The central government is set to spend serious money to electrify development and sales. China Daily reports that “a much-awaited government stimulus plan” is ready for government approval and should be in effect in the next couple of months.

Private buyers in five chosen cities (so far unveiled, but the usual suspects apply) will be able to collect close to $9000 if they buy a pure plug-in. Imports need not apply.

Domestic or joint-venture doesn’t matter, but to qualify the electric car must be assembled in China. (Cue complaints from Detroit and DC, protesting the discrimination of non-existent U.S. plug-ins.)

Ironically, it will be mostly private companies that benefit first. Pure electric cars are available in limited numbers from BYD, Chery, ChangAn and Zotye.

“Big State-owned automakers didn’t take the development of electric cars seriously five years ago and now they are feeling the sense of urgency as the smaller rivals have marched in advance,” said Wang Zhenpo, an associate professor at the electric vehicle center of Beijing Institute of Technology.

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  • OldandSlow OldandSlow on Apr 09, 2010

    Not just China, but everywhere else the electric car is about to become another government entitlement program. Look for some slap-dash, hastily put together models in dealer showrooms, soon.

  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Apr 09, 2010

    Nobody is going to call them a bunch of communists for doing that.

  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Apr 09, 2010

    China is being reasonably smart, here. They know they will have a problem on their hands when more and more people start buying cars. Or rather, they will have two problems: air quality and energy security. As such, they're being smart and weaning themselves off the petroleum tit early. Batteries are something they can make or recycle (unlike oil) without being dependent on foreign sources.

  • Mr Carpenter Mr Carpenter on Apr 09, 2010

    Let's get this straight. China, which has virtually no emission controls on its power stations - largely fuelled by high-sulfur, locally produced coal, is going to try to pump enough extra "juice" through a power grid to fuel tens of thousands and later hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles and they think this is an improvement over low pollution, 3-way catalyst, unleaded, low-sulfur gasoline fuelled vehicles which already have a fuel infrastructure. And they're going to subsidize the crap out of them (essentially robbing peter to pay paul). Yep. Communists (and not too bright, either). But, I repeat myself.... Perhaps a smarter move would be to use coal to make gasoline (ask South Africans how that works out - very well) and make the battery production they have go much farther by making all cars hybrids. And don't subsidize them. Result: cleaner air, smarter use of resources and lower costs overall.

    • See 1 previous
    • Analyst Analyst on Apr 09, 2010

      A lot of people will not miss a chance to bash China, and will use bogus arguments or unverified assumptions to do so. FACT: It is much easier to control emissions in a few power plants than in tens or hundreds of millions of cars.