By the end of the decade, analysts and experts and in every field expect China to become the world’s largest market for electric vehicles. If that’s true, somebody might want to tell Chinese consumers, who collectively purchased just 6,900 pure electric vehicles last year, reports Autoblog Green.
That is going to make it hard for China to reach its goal of having a half-million EVs on its roads by the end of 2015, though new incentives could start nudging more buyers into electric cars and plug-in hybrids (of which just over 1,200 were sold). This is largely because for three-quarters of 2013, there was no national EV subsidy, with cities forced to encourage EV adoptions on their own.
But a new set of national subsidies, based on driving range, range from about $5,700 to nearly $10,000. When you add in the benefits of cities like Beijing, this can add up to nearly $20,000 off the MSRP of certain EVs. One of the popular subsidy options is offering free license plates to EV buyers, as the process of registering your car is based on an expensive lottery system.
Elon Musk is bullish that China could become Tesla’s biggest market, and he’s not alone. But unless EV sales take off like one of his Space X rockets in the next 18 months, it’s hard to imagine a half-million EVs traveling China’s congested roads.