China’s rapidly expanding vehicle fleet, increasing manufacturing industry and rising energy demand has made the country one of the world’s biggest polluters, perhaps even the biggest polluter. But sadly, there’s not much chance of China making any radical changes to its environmental policies as it’s still struggling with widespread poverty.

However, there is hope on the horizon. The world’s most populace country is making efforts to turn that reputation around. The Chinese government is planning to invest around $15 billion to help further the development of green vehicles by subsidizing their development over the next decade.

The aim is to eventually have around five million plug-in hybrids, all-electric vehicles and other alternative-energy vehicles on the road by 2020. The Chinese government hasn't forgotten regular hybrid models either, with these vehicles expected to number around the 15 million unit mark in China by the same 2020 deadline.

The $15 billion is to be divided into programs to help commercialize fuel-efficient powertrains, set up demonstration programs and build infrastructure for the roll-out of electric and alternative fuel vehicles. A lot of the money will go directly to vehicle manufacturers, as well as suppliers of batteries and electric motors. There will also be incentives offered to buyers of green vehicles, as well as conventional vehicles that features engines no bigger than 1.6-liters.

[Automotive News China, sub req’d]