With the goal of putting 500,000 “new energy” vehicles on its roads by the end of 2015, and 5 million on roads by 2020, China’s efforts to go green at ambitious to say the least. With just over 17,000 EVs and hybrids sold in 2013, the semi-communist country has a long, long way to go to meet that goal, though a new round of tax incentives could help tremendously.
Yesterday the Chinese government announced that all electric, hybrid, and fuel cell vehicles would be exempt from that 10% national sales tax beginning on September 17th and running through 2017. Most importantly, this includes both domestic and imported green cars, which could help China become the biggest market for green cars over the next decade.
The central government is currently building a portfolio of eligible vehicles, and the Tesla Model S will almost certainly be at the top of that list. This latest national tax incentive joins a growing list of local incentives from cities like Beijing, which are offering tax credits and free license plates (valued at $15,000 or more in some cases) to buyers of green cars.
There’s still the matter of the lack of charging infrastructure though, and while there are plans to lay down massive public charging networks all across China, as America learned, those networks require years to take hold on in the public consciousness.
With these generous subsidies compelling more Chinese consumers to look at green cars though, perhaps China really is on its way to becoming the world’s biggest market for electric cars.