China Promotes New-Energy Vehicles

Recently Hangzhou joined Shanghai, Beijing, Guiyang, Tianjin and Guangzhou in putting restrictions on car purchases by means of a license plate ‘lottery’. In China, a buyer has to have a license plate before buying a car, so by restricting the number of license plates issued, the government restricts the number of cars on the road. Research reveals that in Hangzhou traffic jams reduce the average speed of cars to less than 20 km/h, thereby reducing transport efficiency and increasing pollution levels. The restriction of license plates, however, has opened up opportunities for black market trading in what has become a sought-after commodity.

Although China began promoting the use of new-energy vehicles five years ago, with a goal of reaching 500,000 by 2015, there are less than 70,000 of these cars on China’s roads today. The blame for this slow development of the new-energy vehicle sector has partially been directed toward local authorities and the lack of charging stations.

Other measures being considered in promoting new-energy vehicle use include using some of the emission surcharge proceeds to finance these vehicles, as well as continuing to pay fuel subsidies to public transport companies using hybrid buses. Electric car rental services are another avenue for promoting this mode of transport. Kandi Technologies Group Inc. (KNDI:US) , which offers this service, has reportedly experienced a 34 percent gain in NASDAQ trading in this year alone, showing that there is a growing market for new-energy vehicles in China.