China is introducing measures to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles and other 'new-energy' vehicles in the country, including regulations designed to accelerate the roll out of recharging infrastructure nationwide. The government wants the country to have a recharging infrastructure in place to support the use of 5m electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by 2020. 

As part of this drive, the State Council released a paper this month stipulating that all new apartment buildings will have to include charging facilities for residents, or ensure that such facilities can be installed at a later stage. Also, up to 10% of public car parks will have to be able to support charging facilities within five years.

The council’s main target is to have significant recharging networks in place in most of the country’s major cities by 2020. 

The government sees the increased use new-energy vehicles as essential in reducing air pollution, particularly in the country’s major cities. It also wants local vehicle manufacturers’ to develop industry leadership in this segment.

This latest directive from the council followed a paper at the end of September calling for domestic auto manufacturers to step up their efforts to develop new energy vehicles. It also urged local governments and municipalities not to impose purchasing restrictions on these vehicles.

Data gathered by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) shows that almost 119,000 new energy vehicles were sold in the country in the first eight months of 2015 – a 270% increase on last year. Of these, almost 68,000 were electric vehicles and over 40,000 were plug-in hybrids.