China is giving e-mobility a boost
When you think China is a country with thousands of bike-riders, filtering the grey smog by their mouth masks, think again. The city of millions, Shenzhen, for instance, not far from Hong Kong, is the very picture of a relatively green, quiet and clean city. Even with its 11 million inhabitants, its one of the most productive cities of China, together with Peking and Shanghai, thanks to its booming high-tech sector.
No more polluting buses
Shenzhen is one of the 13 test cities that were selected in 2009 to reduce the amount of carbon in the air. It was the first city to have a program for the internal emissions trading. The city is massively investing in electric transport and goal is to provide 80% of all new city buildings with an ecological label by 2020.
Last year, all noisy and polluting diesel buses of the public transport network were replaced by electric ones. The vice-director of the Shenzhen Bus Group, the largest bus company of the city, expects the CO2 emissions to go down with 440.000 tons annually. By the beginning of next year, all the city’s taxis will have to be driven electrically and all polluting commercial vans will be removed from traffic.
The city has installed 40.000 electric charging stations and 180 warehouses where buses can be charged at night. A special app will be developed for taxis, since they have no fixed routes. The app will show the taxi driver where to find an available charging point nearby.
Becoming the showpiece of new green China is costing a lot of money, though. Fortunately, regional and national authorities are subsidizing generously: 500.000 yuan (63.500 euro) per electric bus.
With this green policy, the government wants to give electric bus manufacturers a boost. Eight out of ten buses in Shenzhen are built by BYD, a regional bus manufacturer. Thanks to the important subsidies, they can introduce state of the art technology in their vehicles and sell them worldwide.
All this is fitting in the industrial program ‘Made in China 2025’, a program by which the Chinese government wants to stimulate companies to become trend-setting in other countries too. Electric mobility is one of the sectors in which China wants to excell. Today the country is the only player in the race.