12/12/2014

China’s Biggest EV Challenge: No Chargers

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China's central government may spend as much as 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) to help cities install charging stations for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, sources tell Bloomberg News.

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China's central government may spend as much as 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) to help cities install charging stations for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, sources tell Bloomberg News.

China already is spending billions of yuan on tax breaks and sales incentives to boost demand for such vehicles. Last year the country raised such subsidies to as much as 35,000 yuan ($5,700) per hybrid and 60,000 yuan ($9,700) per EV.

But Bloomberg says sales continue to lag because of a lack of charging facilities. The news service notes that many car owners don't have garages or even designated parking spots where a charging unit could be installed. It says many offices and factories don't allow EV charging.

One result is that China has reached only about 15% of its goal of putting 500,000 alternative-energy vehicles on the road by 2015, according to government data. The country targets 5 million such vehicles by 2020.

Now Beijing is pushing for a faster rollout of charging facilities. Bloomberg notes that Shanghai's government plans to install 6,000 charging points by the end of next year. EV makers such as BMW and Tesla also have vowed to help build such facilities.