In the People’s Republic of China (PRC), 328,000 electric vehicles (EVs) were purchased from January to May 2018. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAC) forecasts that over one million EVs will be purchased in the PRC in 2018. The rapid growth in EVs in the PRC is due to restrictions on combustion engine vehicles, government subsidies and an abundance of EV charging stations.
In 2017, there were 1,200,000 EVs in the PRC, followed by 750,000 in the United States. The move to EVs in the United States has been slowed by the dearth of charging stations and modest gasoline and diesel prices.
The PRC government plans to gradually reduce EV subsidies by 2020. The PRC government will continue to encourage EVs and discourage combustion engine vehicle to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles. The air quality in the thirty-two largest cities in the PRC has been classified as toxic by the World Bank.
The PRC will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions from EVs if the electric utility is being fueled by coal. The greenhouse gases to charge an EV from a coal fueled power plant far exceeds the greenhouse gases from a combustion engine. The PRC is rapidly developing more renewable energy such as wind and solar. The question is whether or not power to charge the rapid growth of EVs will be supplied by fossil fuel or renewable energy?