Demand for electric vehicles in China still low

Article by Anita Panait, on March 6, 2014

Beijing offered 1,666 new-energy vehicle plates in a lottery Wednesday, but only 1,428 people applied for it – indicating the still low-demand for such vehicles in the city. The low demand for energy vehicles highlights the challenges facing local carmakers like BYD in selling electric vehicles in China. BYD’s E6 electric car this month qualified for Beijing’s subsidies.

Chinese consumers have been hesitant to switch to electric cars due to concerns on dependability as well as the lack of charging infrastructure. “This is really brand new stuff and people are still cautious,” said Lin Huaibin, an analyst at researcher IHS Automotive told Bloomberg News. “This situation will last for some time because it takes time to build infrastructure.”

In a bid to manage worsening congestion and air pollution in its territory, Beijing plans to cut the number of new conventional vehicles this year to 130,000 from 240,000. The municipal government has also reserved 20,000 plates for new-energy vehicles.

The city also plans to build 1,000 public quick-charging poles this year, covering the suburbs and city center, according to a report by the official Xinhua News Agency. The lottery results come as Beijing remains blanketed in thick smog, as pollution remains at unhealthy levels for the seventh straight day.

Topics: electric car, china

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