Electric cars growing in popularity in China

Global Business

The Chinese government has been encouraging consumers to buy electric cars as a solution to the pollution problems in the country, however the plan has been hindered by a bottleneck in the charging infrastructure. CCTV’s Su Yuting reported this story from Beijing.

Retired engineer Ban Jincheng bought an electric car last year and he said the maintainance is not complicated and actually saves him money.

Electric cars growing in popularity in China

Electric cars growing in popularity in China

The Chinese government has been encouraging consumers to buy electric cars as a solution to the pollution problems in the country, however the plan has been hindered by a bottleneck in the charging infrastructure. CCTV's Su Yuting reported this story from Beijing.

“I chose the electric car because it has great economic benefits. For example, I live near the West Railway Station, and if I drive to Shidu, the famous resort in suburban Beijing, it costs me around 65 fen (10 cents) each kilometer,” Ban explained. “But if I go there by a car using gas, it costs me around 6.5 yuan ($1.05) per kilometer. That’s ten times higher. So, it’s obviously cost effective.”

Ban’s electric car was only 74,000 RMB ($11,919), with tax exemptions and fiscal subsidies, which is about half of its original cost.

Ban said there are now charging stations being built along the Beijing-Shanghai Expressway located every 50 kilometers (31 miles) along the route, and a single station can fully charge a vehicle within 30 minutes. He can also recharge his car close to home after installing a standard charger at the parking lot near his home. It takes only about 7-8 hours to power the electric car and enables a driving range of around 160 kilometers (99.4 miles).

Electric cars are not perfect however. The length the car can travel depends a lot on the weather and traffic, Ban said.

“For individual buyers, the greatest bottleneck is recharging” Xu Qionglin, chairman of the Beijing Ruizhenf Auto Trading Co., Ltd. said. “We are doing research to design electric cars to better satisfy the needs of commuters on their regular routes between the office, home, and universities. And we can see that the market is expanding. “