Over the past few years, the Chinese government has aggressively promoted electric cars with incentives and preferential policies.
Those policies may finally be paying off, as multiple analyses have shown a major increases in sales of electric cars and plug-in hybrids in China this year.
But China is still reportedly falling behind previously-set sales targets, which may force the government to take even more aggressive action.
The country's next five-year plan could emphasize electric-car adoption to a greater extent, according to Bloomberg.
The Communist Party--which will present the 13th Five-Year Plan at a plenum later this month--may emphasize the building of charging stations and improving the efficiency of batteries.
This would help address some of the major drawbacks to electric cars in China.
Kandi electric car vending machine in China (Image: Aaron Rockett, video screen grab)
But without readily available charging stations, many of those cars hardly ever get plugged in, and so spend little time operating on electric power.
The national government hopes that promoting electric cars, plug-in hybrids, and hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles--collectively known as "New Energy Vehicles"--will help reduce the country's infamous air pollution.
It's offered subsidies to buyers of new electric cars, while local city governments have given electric-car buyers priority in lotteries for vehicle registrations.
Yet there are reportedly just 220,000 plug-in cars on Chinese roads, or about 22 percent of the goal originally set for 2015.
Venucia E30 (Chinese version of Nissan Leaf electric car), Guangzhou Auto Show [photo: ChinaAutoWeb]
Last week, China's State Council reiterated its support for New Energy Vehicles, and warned local governments not to interfere with that policy.
It warned against any local-level policies that might restrict the sale or use of electric cars.
It also threatened to cut back on fuel and operating subsidies if cities were seen to be dragging their feet on adoption of cleaner buses for public transportation.