BYD, Tesla and Beijing Auto had extremely high hopes for their EV products in China’s Capital City – capital city of national administration, gridlock, and urban air pollution. But it seems that Beijing residents are more than eager to rely on their current traditional gasoline engines rather than swap over to EV’s according to this report from the South China Morning Post (SCMP)
Fewer than one out of a thousand prospective owners in Beijing is opting for an electric car, figures show, as the Chinese capital struggles to make its fleet of more than five million vehicles less polluting.
Only 1,701 would-be buyers of electric cars have filed applications for a new vehicle licence as of Saturday, according to the municipal government. These represent less than 0.1 per cent of the 1,841,213 applications for new Beijing licence plates, with the rest coming from conventional petrol- or diesel-powered cars.
The lack of interest in electric cars flies in the face of a series of measures by the municipal government incentivising the move away from traditional polluters in the congested city, making new registrations of traditional vehicles nearly impossible.
New applicants for conventional cars have a 0.8 per cent chance of getting a plate, an unnamed traffic management official told the Beijing News. For applicants with electric cars, however, the lottery is a mere formality. The 20,000 new licence plates due to be issued for electric cars this year would allow – if the trend continues – every single applicant to get a licence plate.
Perhaps the issue, as always, can be blamed on a lack of supporting infrastructure, the SCMP elaborates further:
The city plans to set up 1,000 charging stations by the end of this year and cover the entire city including suburbs by 2017. By then, it hopes to increase the number of electric cars on the cities to 1.7 million, or slightly more than a quarter of all vehicles.
Hopefully this will kick start Beijing’ers into turning their once lovely city (now long since an interesting hue of gray and brown) into an EV paradise that everybody, including the local government, hoped for.