‘The whole system is ready to transform’: China gears up to switch to green energy cars

By CGTN's World Insight

“Certainly I think it should be sooner. It’s a pretty soft target but you are talking about a major transition,” said Isabel Hilton from chinadialogue.net.
“If you look at Norway, which is rather more advanced in European terms, they are talking about 2025. They’ve also got the highest penetration of electric vehicles. So you can accelerate these things. I think the reason that dates like 2040 get adopted is that the industry itself puts a lot of pressure on governments to say, this is a massive adjustment and we need time to do it.”
An electric car in Beijing. /AFP Photo

An electric car in Beijing. /AFP Photo

Hilton’s comments come after vice minister at the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology Xin Guobin announced last week that regulators are working on a timeline for phasing out the production and sale of traditional fuel-powered cars.
However Xin did not say when this was expected to happen.
As China thrashes out plans to implement this massive transformation, Wu Changhua from the Climate Group says the ultimate solution is to upgrade existing transportation systems.
“It is not just the electric vehicle or a charging station…cities have become a major playground to transform the transportation system and mobility services in particular,” she said.
But, while a lot of work inevitably lies ahead, Wu thinks that with available technology, current systems could be adapted comparatively easy.
“The government is already putting a lot of efforts, R and D investment, into how to transform fossil-fuel based transportation system into a clean energy system. People really need to deep dive into the nature of issue, which is the mobility service. With the technology we have available today, the whole system is ready to transform.”
How an electric car works. /CGTN Photo

How an electric car works. /CGTN Photo

The sale of clean energy vehicles in China exceeded 500,000 last year, an increase of more than 50% on the previous year.
Meanwhile, in June the government introduced draft regulations to compel vehicle manufacturers to produce more electric vehicles by 2020.
World Insight with Tian Wei is a 45-minute global affairs and debate show on CGTN. It airs weekdays at 10.15 p.m. BJT (1415GMT), with rebroadcasts at 4.15 a.m. BJT (2015GMT)