Three years ago, as part of its green-energy policy, the Chinese government set an ambitious goal: by the end of 2011, the nation would be able to produce at least 500,000 hybrid or all-electric cars and buses a year.
With only about a week to go, it is clear China will fall far short of that target. Despite dozens of electric-vehicle demonstration projects around the country, analysts put China’s actual annual production capacity at only several thousand hybrid and all-electric cars and buses.
“It’s pretty trivial at this stage — they hardly sell any,” said Lin Huaibin, the manager of China vehicle sales forecasts at IHS Automotive, a global consulting firm.
Obstacles include continued technological hurdles, disputes over technology transfers by multinational automakers, and a broad wariness by the Chinese public regarding alternative-technology cars.
But it would be shortsighted to count out China’s electric car efforts just yet. Only a few months ago Prime Minister Wen Jiabao called for Beijing to create a new “road map” for energy-saving vehicles.Page 1 of 8 | Next Page