Chinese government to push development of electric cars

In an attempt to reduce emissions from vehicles, the Chinese government has announced that it is to invest 880 million yuan (US$106 million) over the next few years in speeding up the development of electrical vehicles.

The programme is also intended to act as a springboard to profitability for the country’s auto industry, reports China Daily. The move also reflects the government’s drive to help ease the country’s oil energy bottleneck and maintain a sustainable, environmentally friendly growth of the economy, according to the Ministry of Science and Technology.

“Developing electric vehicles is significant in the effort to save oil energy, minimise air pollution, and to give an impetus to the development of the country’s auto industry,” Li Jian, Director of the Ministry’s Department of High-Tech Development and Industrialisation, is reported as saying.

Commercialisation of electric vehicles, which are powered by both high-performance, low-cost batteries and a mix of cleaner burning fuels, is expected to be realised by the end of 2005, says China Daily. Electric vehicles are also expected to be used for the transport service for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.

The funding will be distributed to companies that successfully bid for special projects.

China has already developed high-performance batteries, such as a lithium battery that can power a vehicle for 300 km, manufactured by the Leitian Company in Shenzhen.

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