According to official rules released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, the country has agreed to support the development of lithium-ion batteries for full electric and hybrid electric passenger vehicles.

Effective immediately, the new guidelines are outlined in a governmental released called "Administrative Rules on Entry Access for New Energy Vehicle Manufacturers and Products."  The guidelines set forth are valid until December of 2010.

The rules specify three distinct stages for developing new energy sources.  There are listed as initial, growth, and mature.  The stages break down as follows:  Initial is dedicated to vehicles and technology in preliminary research and development, not yet viable for commercialization.  Growth is technology that is clearly identified and ready for commercialization.  Mature is for technology that is established and ready or already in mass production.

Enough of the logistics.  Of interest is where China views the various alternative energy technologies.  According to the report pure EVs utilizing Li-ion batteries are at the growth phase.  Any EV utilizing nickel metal hydride cells, zinc-air, or super capacitors are at the initial phase.  Vehicle technology such as fuel cell, hydrogen, and DME are all at the initial stage.

Most hybrid vehicles fit into the growth or mature phase.  For example, hybrid vehicles utilizing Li-ion or super capacitors are at the growth stage, but hybrids utilizing Ni-MH batteries are at the mature stage.  Additionally, battery types including LiFePO4 and LiMn2O4 are listed at the initial stages.

Most hybrid vehicles available or soon to be available in China all utilize Ni-MH batteries.  These vehicles include the Chang an Jieuxun, Chery A5, FAW Besturn hybrid, and the Buick LaCrosse.  Some hybrid vehicles such as the offering from BYD utilize Li-ion batteries.

By breaking down the various categories of development, the government can decide what areas to devote funding to and can better determine the potential commercial suitability of a given technology.  The program is a way to group technologies and appropriate money as necessary.  Basing funding on viability and potential for commercial success ensure that the money is well spent.

A statement released by China says, "Administrative Rules is one of the specific measures undertaken by the Chinese government in support of the development of new energy, especially hybrid and pure-electric vehicles, a national strategy clearly stated in the Automotive Industry Readjustment and Revitalization Plan published by the State Council earlier this year."

Although the plan seems like an announcement to let the rest of the world know of China's advanced future, it is really part of numerous moves that the Chinese government has made to ensure success of hybrids and EVs in their country.  With incentive programs, governmental committees, and additional focus of advanced technology vehicles, they are intent on leading the way into the electric future.

Source:  Wards Auto (Login required)