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Air Quality

Published on March 9th, 2013 | by James Ayre


Beijing Unveiling Aggressive Policies To Speed Electric Vehicle Adoption

March 9th, 2013 by  

Beijing is about to introduce a variety of new policies that should help to speed up the rate of electric vehicle adoption in the city, and help to reduce its dangerous levels of air pollution, according to state media reports.


Among the most significant of these new policies is a £13,000 subsidy for electric vehicles. Another is a complete bypass of the infamous license plate lottery.

“Officials are working on plans to introduce a new maximum purchase subsidy of 120,000 yuan (£12,850) for electric cars, while also allowing electric vehicles to obtain license plates without participating in the city’s plate lottery,” BusinessGreen reports.

A significant expansion of the public charging facility infrastructure is one of the other exciting policies. It’s estimated that about 5,000 new electric vehicles will hit Beijing’s roads this year, including around 3,000 electric buses and taxis.

The aggressive new policies are largely being put forward as a means to help address the city’s significant air pollution problem.

“China is home to seven of the world’s 10 most polluted cities, according to a study from the Asian Development Bank and Beijing’s Tsinghua University, while car ownership is continuing to soar.”

The total annual cost for all of the illness, death, and lost productivity caused by air pollution in China is estimated to be higher than $100 billion by the World Bank. That’s equal to about 3% of China’s annual gross domestic product. And of course these numbers don’t include the enormous damage done to the natural environment — the extinction of many animals, including the baji river dolphin, have been linked to the high levels of pollution in the region.

Image Credit: Beijing Smog via Wikimedia Commons

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About the Author

James Ayre’s background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

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  • When I was 13-16 in the early 60s in Los Angeles, we had such bad air pollution, that we were forced to stay inside and not be allowed to go on the gym field or any other outdoor activity other than going from one classromm to the other…..the visibility was sometimes as bad as 200ft….this was in the san fernando valley (the “valley girl” valley.
    Between cars having smog devices…just egr valves back then….and people getting tickets for “smokers” the air cleaned up pretty fast……by 73, when catalytic converters and unleaded gas came out…it looked a lot better.

  • It seems people only react after a crisis. The air is so bad in China that they have to act.

    • Unfortunately, that seems to be the case. Foresight is a highly undervalued jewel in the human war chest that stays locked under the bed most of the time.

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