Uphill climb for electricsUpdated: 2013-09-30 07:06
The Chinese government began policy support for the sale and use of electric vehicles in 2009, but the results have been modest.
Statistics show that by the end of this March, fewer than 40,000 electric vehicles had been sold in the country and 80 percent of those were for public transportation.
It is also supplying cars to taxi fleets in answer the Shenzhen government's call to replace all 15,000 taxis in the city with pure electrics in the years to come.
Among the initiatives to promote use of electric cars in the private sector is a rental outlet that recently opened at a science park near Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Part of an "EV Beijing Partnership" program by the Beijing Science and Technology Commission, the station offers 16 electric rental cars made by Beijing Automotive Group at a prices ranging from 49 yuan for two hours, 99 yuan a day or 1,999 yuan a month.
The station is also equipped with charging facilities.
A similar electric rental program in Shanghai uses Roewe cars made by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp.
Industry insiders say the programs are in part efforts to support each city's local automakers and have limited effect on promoting overall electric vehicle sales.
But the Beijing Science and Technology Commission is reaching out to some private owners. It will select 500 candidates as the first buyers of all-electric cars in Beijing.
Those selected will be eligible for subsidies totaling 140,000 yuan including 60,000 yuan from the central government, 60,000 yuan from the Beijing municipal government and 20,000 yuan from BAIC.
Those selected can buy an E150 electric car from BAIC for 109,800 yuan and will be exempt from the city's license plate lottery.
Analysts say to have a bigger impact, governments will need to further raise subsidies and build charging facilities.