After four consecutive months of dropping sales in the electric vehicle (EV) market, following the withdrawal of significant government subsidies, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) is now raising the stakes, setting a higher target for the proportion of environmentally friendly cars out on the roads.
Though demand for electrified vehicles has risen rapidly in recent years in China, they still only account for about 5% of automobile sales in the country. Following the drastic reduction of government subsidies in June, EV sales plummeted.
In 2017, MIIT set up a target saying that by 2025, more than 20% of the cars sold should be electric. Now, they have shifted their singular focus on electric cars to more broadly promote a range of new energy vehicles, such as fully-electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel-cell vehicles, and raised their goal to 25%.
As a means to reach the target, the government announced that they will minimize their intervention to allow car-makers more autonomy to decide the direction of the new energy vehicle technology development.
The ambition shows that a green car industry remains a priority for a government aiming to combat pollution and reduce reliance on imported oil. However, Chinese automakers may fail to meet the target as industry experts see few signs of recovery until the end of the first quarter of 2020, as Chinese consumers instead increase spending on basic goods, driven by a recent surge in pork prices due to African swine fever’s decimation of the nation’s pig population.
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