I’m not one of these “America is in decline” types I see on television all the time. I believe we remain a strong, fundamentally sound country that like every other country has its share of problems. We just have so many television stations that our problems seem amplified when there are fifty thousand talking heads yammering about it.
That said, I also know that the next twenty years won’t be like the last twenty, and we’ll have to share the stage with several emerging superpowers who could surpass us in several important fields. Case in point, the Xinhua news agency reports that China expects to make 1 million electric vehicles a year by 2020. Can we keep up?
There are a lot of benefits to running a communist country, such as being able to better dictate the course your country takes. Here in America, the two major political parties are essentially duking it out for America’s future, and the future of our energy policy. The shift so far has been slow, loud, and painful, and I expect it to only get worse after the mid-term elections. China, on the other hand, basically just says “You will make electric cars!” and presto, electric cars. Same deal with their high-speed trains, solar and hydro plants, so on, and so forth.
Of course, our government doesn’t censor the Internet or imprison dissidents for speaking their mind. So don’t think I’m advocating communism here.
Besides, China needs to make some drastic changes in their transportation system, as many cities are constantly covered by smog. Then there are the days-long traffic jams, which is just the surface of their problems. Thus, China is embarking on a number of initiatives to get more electric cars on the road, including a 60,00 yuan (about $9,000) subsidy for hybrid and electric car buyers. A pilot program in 25 cities is also subsidizing alt-energy public transportation vehicles, and over the next ten years they plan to spend about $15 billion to get the green car industry up and running. Then again, 1 million electric cars a year would be but a drop in the bucket if some speculations about the soaring Chinese car market (50 million new cars a year by 2030) turn out to be true.
Where will our electric car industry be in ten years, I wonder?
Source: Xinhua via Green Car Advisor