According to a study conducted by the World Bank, China is emerging as the global leader in developing and introducing more electric vehicles. Global economies have been pushing for the development of electric vehicle technology in an attempt to reduce dependence on non-renewable energy and pollution.

The World Bank study predicts that Chinese consumers will buy 47 per cent more electric vehicles than the US, and that the sales of green cars will make up 10 per cent of new vehicles sales in China by 2020.

China’s economic emergence came at the price of the environment and criticisms have been levelled at the country by citizens and the international community alike. The government has since taken steps towards green development and plans to pump US$15 billion (*S$18.52 billion) over the next five years in vehicle electrification.

In 2009, China launched its Ten Cities, Thousand Vehicles Program to promote energy saving vehicles. Currently, the programme has been extended to 25 cities. The Chinese government also introduced green subsidies that were intended to encourage citizens to purchase environmentally friendly vehicles in the same year.

In 2010, approximately CNY8.5 billion (*S$1.61 billion) was invested in China’s electric vehicle industry.

While China has focused on the electrification of fleet vehicles, the report said that the country will have to focus on the development of its infrastructure for its next level of growth.

In addition, convincing consumer to buy electric cars once subsidies have ended will be a challenge for the Chinese government. Currently, the more affluent Chinese consumers are more interested in purchasing luxury vehicles.

*Exchange rate correct as at 21 April 2011

Source: Singapore Government