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Saturday, November 16, 2013

200,000 electric cars on Beijing's roads by 2017: official


November 14, 2013

 An electric car rental station in Beijing. (Photo/CNS)
 An electric car rental station in Beijing.

To help clean up the city's notorious air pollution, Beijing plans to have 200,000 electric cars on the roads by 2017, of which 150,000 will be privately owned, said Yan Yaoshuang, director of the Beijing Committee on Science and Technology.

In an interview with local television, Yan revealed that the city's plan for new energy vehicles, scheduled for release by the end of the year, will put 30,000-40,000 new electric cars in public use for transportation, environmental protection, hygiene and logistics. The plan requires newly built communities to install 10%-15% of their parking spaces with charging posts for electric cars. For older communities, charging posts can be installed in separate locations.

Public charging posts will be set up every five kilometers on roads in downtown Beijing by 2017, Yan said.

"I will try my best to bring more electric cars to the road, a rather difficult task in view of the city's traffic jams," said Yan. Exemption of new electric cars from existing restrictions on auto use in the city is still under discussion, with the final results expected to be out by the end of the year.

According to the country's Ministry of Environmental Protection, of the 74 cities monitored by the ministry in 2013, the 10 cities with the worst air pollution are Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei and their surrounding areas. The Beijing city government recently announced plans to invest 200-300 billion yuan (US$32-$65 billion) in combating the problem over a period of five years.

In principle, electric cars can be exempt from restrictions related to poor smog conditions. Currently the city has create the red-level grading mark for air pollution levels, which indicates heavy smog conditions for at least three consecutive days. Following a 12-hour notice, at this point cars would be placed on a daily rotation for road use.

"According to our plan, electric cars will be given a special quota for auto licenses, separate from gasoline vehicles whose licenses are subject to an annual quota distributed according to lot drawing," said Yan.