CHINA ANNOUNCES PLAN TO BOOST ELECTRIC CAR USE
Last week, the State Council, China's cabinet, announced a set of support guidelines aimed at augmenting the country's new-energy vehicle market, which has performed far below the government's expectations. Battery electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and fuel-cell cars will all be eligible under the plan, set to be phased in over the next two years. In a statement posted on its website, the State Council laid out an extensive list of objectives to achieve by 2020, including speeding up green transit in public transportation, extending the electric vehicle charging network, developing innovative business models, and improving clean car technology as well as battery disposal management. The plan stipulates that all official vehicles operating fixed routes in urban areas need to be pure battery-electric vehicles, and it requires one charging point for every electric vehicle bought. The new rules also say that government agencies cannot limit the purchase of foreign brands. The guideline is the latest among various supportive policies released by the Chinese government in July. Three weeks ago, the government announced that buyers of clean cars in China will be exempt from a purchase tax starting in September. That tax is about 10 percent of the net value of the vehicle based on industry estimates. See http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/In-Gear/2014/0721/China-wants-30-percent-of-government-cars-to-be-electric-cars, http://www.eenews.net/climatewire/stories/1060003494, http://www.ecns.cn/business/2014/07-22/125417.shtml, and http://chargedevs.com/newswire/30-percent-of-new-chinese-government-vehicles-must-be-plug-ins/.