CHINA: China steps up to electric vehicle challenge
As Toyota and EDF announce a trial electric vehicle project in the UK with 100 vehicles, the Chinese government has announced a trial of 10,000 vehicles.
According to China Daily, the Ministry of Science and Technology is going to put 10,000 hybrid, electric, and fuel-cell vehicles on trial in more than ten cities in China by 2010. They will also supply the infrastructure to support these technologies. The trial will inform government policy.
To support the measures China's largest electricity transmission company, the State Grid Corporation, is installing electric charging stations in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin. The first batch of charging stations will serve trial electric buses as well as cars. China Daily noted that the cost of installing a charging station is estimated at between 250,000 yuan ($36,550) and 300,000 yuan ($43,860).
One vehicle manufacturer expected to benefit from the development is BYD Auto. BYD has invested a billion yuan into R&D for electric cars since it entered the car market in 2003. It plans to invest a further four billion yuan in a new electric vehicle plant in Shenzhen.
Other Chinese vehicle manufacturers actively developing electric vehicles include Dongfeng Motor, Chery Auto, Changan Auto, Wanxiang Group and Tianjin Qingyuan Electric Vehicle.