China, which is still the world’s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, is trying to recast itself as a global leader of environmental initiatives. Its president, Xi Jinping, has become one of the Paris accord’s most vocal advocates.
The country has another aim too. In 2010, it made clear its long-term intent to become the No. 1 nation in electric vehicle sales.
“The China market itself is pretty gigantic,” said Bill Hampton, AutoBeat Daily publisher. “This will push the China market along very quickly and certainly could create a powerhouse for exports and propel China into the global electric vehicle market.”
“Chinese regulators see the success of Tesla and other Californian companies, and want to promote the same success amongst Chinese car manufacturers,” said Sophie Lu, Beijing-based China research head for Bloomberg New Energy Finance, which analyzes energy markets.