Date
11 December 2017
Shenzhen needs more charging facilities if it wants to popularize electric vehicles. Photo: Sohu
Shenzhen needs more charging facilities if it wants to popularize electric vehicles. Photo: Sohu

Shenzhen green car push a matter of carrot and stick

Shenzhen is at the frontier of China’s electric car push. There’s no better place to get a sense of the future of this industry.

But before anyone gets overly excited, consider this: There are about 2.7 million passenger cars in Shenzhen but only about 2,000 are new energy types.

It’s hard to call electric cars a great success despite years of effort. A lot more has to be done.

An official from the Shenzhen Development and Reform Commission (SDRC) has some ideas about how things could pick up speed. There needs to be enough charging spots to begin with.

Lu Xiangzhen, chief director of an SDRC department that coordinates major projects, told National Business Daily the municipal government is planning to allocate land to public transport companies for charging stations-cum-commercial buildings.

Offices and shopping malls will become a source of income for these companies in place of government subsidies. In addition, underground charging stations will improve the green car infrastructure in a way that also maximizes land use.

Details of the project may be announced this month.

In the meantime, Shenzhen will use short-term measures to ease the charging problem. Mobile charging stations are an option.

Free or lower parking fees and toll road charges, as well as charging fee subsidies, are being considered to lure users.

But carrot is only part of the scheme — local cadres will crack the whip on polluters.

“Cars are a main source of air pollution,” Lu said. Shenzhen is considering an emission levy to punish offenders.

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RA

EJ Insight writer

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