February 17, 2017

China's Electric Car Surge

Time

1:40 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Location

1605 Tilia, Room 1103, West Village

Speaker(s)

Yunshi Wang, Director, China Center for Energy and Transportation and Co-director, China-U.S. ZEV Policy Lab, UC Davis

Abstract

China’s plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) sales, comprising both battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, surged 343% in 2015, and are expected to reach 2 million by 2020. Two factors are crucial to this sudden transformation: 1) massive central and local government subsidies, and 2) huge non-monetary incentives via exemptions from restrictions on vehicle ownership in Beijing, Shanghai, and elsewhere. Innovative business models and greatly expanded vehicle offerings, especially by local Chinese manufacturers, also helped accelerate PEV sales and infrastructure deployment. However, continued sales growth is threatened by persistent regional protectionism, the unsustainability of these large subsidies, and widely reported cheating by some automakers. We suggest some innovative policies that China might pioneer and transfer elsewhere.

Biographical Sketch

Yunshi Wang serves as Co-director, China-U.S. ZEV Policy Lab and the director of the China Center for Energy and Transportation of the UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies. As an energy economist, Mr. Wang has worked with the World Bank on China related energy projects and energy demand projection as well as with the Japanese government in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He has conducted research on Chinese economic issues with Lester Thurow, dean emeritus of MIT Sloan School of Management and globally known economist. He participated in the promotion of Sino-U.S. cooperation in clean vehicles and conducted research in Chinese vehicle population and its energy consumption projection, consumer responses to electric-drive transportation and zero emissions vehicle policy analysis.