Manufacturing News

China expected to OK production licenses for EV makers

China soon will approve production licenses for a new batch of electric car manufacturers as part of its push to promote the emission-free technology.

More than 10 companies have applied for the manufacturing permits, said Miao Wei, China's minister for industry and information technology, during a briefing in Beijing on Thursday.

The licenses, meant only for the production of EVs, would be the first to be granted since 2009, when the government announced it would encourage consolidation and curb industry overcapacity.

China has made EV development a strategic initiative as part of a broader plan to promote automotive technology, curb pollution and reduce dependence on imported oil.

Sales of EVs have lagged behind government targets despite subsidies doled out to automakers and consumers. In part, that's due to potential car buyers' concerns about lack of access to charging facilities.

Last month, the State Council said it will increase subsidies to speed up the installation of battery charging stations. Government planners want to create an infrastructure that can handle 5 million plug-in vehicles by 2020.

In March, Miao said the government will encourage Internet companies to develop EVs, since they have the potential to inject innovation into the auto industry and spur competition.

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