July 16, 2014 3:44 am JST

Shanghai to introduce 13,000 eco-friendly vehicles by 2015

TORU SUGAWARA, Nikkei staff writer

SHANGHAI -- By promoting public use of environmentally friendly cars and establishing more charging stations, the city government here plans to have 13,000 green vehicles zipping along its streets by 2015.

     The city is targeting electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell vehicles. It hopes to introduce about 4,000 cars this year, then add another 9,000 in 2015. Shanghai will adopt eco-friendly vehicles for use as buses and other forms of public transportation, as well as government vehicles.

     There are currently only about 300 charging stations in the city, including those set up independently by companies. The city aims to have 6,000 stations by 2015 to encourage consumers to purchase the cars.

     Sales of eco-vehicles last year in Shanghai totaled 581, but they topped 2,200 in the first half of this year alone.

     Regional governments, such as Beijing and Guangdong Province, are also implementing policies to promote the vehicles. Demand in China could boom in the near future as the country seeks to combat its severe air pollution problem.

     According to the Shanghai government, 20,477 eco-friendly vehicles were sold in China during the first half, up 120% on the year.