China to Spend 2 Billion Yuan Annually to Develop EVs
China's government will spend as much as 2 billion yuan ($315 million) a year to develop alternative-energy vehicles to reduce fuel consumption, the finance ministry said Tuesday.
A projected tripling in vehicle population by 2020 will increase the country's demand for fossil fuel and add to its air pollution. China buys more than half of its crude oil from overseas and is the world's second-largest oil importer after the United States.
Air quality in all 32 Chinese cities that track pollution falls short of World Health Organization guidelines, with Beijing among the world's most polluted cities.
The finance ministry urged cities to exempt EVs and plug-ins from restrictions on the issue of license plates and limiting the use of cars on certain days. Municipal authorities also should introduce preferential policies for parking, electricity rates and highway tolls, while speeding up construction of charging stations, according to the statement.
A number of automakers have announced plans to introduce hybrids or electric vehicles in China.