Chinese City Policies Boost Commercial EV Adoption

The transition to electric vehicles (EVs) is a pivotal step in the global effort to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, this transition comes with its own set of challenges, particularly concerning the capacity of our power grids to handle the increased demand for electricity, especially from renewable sources. To address this challenge and fully harness the potential of EVs in decarbonizing mobility, we must embrace the concept of smart electrification.
The ICCT report underscores the multifaceted incentives that cities employed to encourage the purchase and utilization of NECVs. These incentives encompassed reductions in parking fees, toll road charges, and charging costs, in addition to robust support for the expansion of public charging infrastructure. While some of these incentives applied universally to all New Energy Vehicles (NEVs), the study specifically delved into those tailored for NECVs.

A comprehensive overview of the incentives enacted in 2020 is provided in the report, which focuses on ten carefully selected cities. Although governmental vehicles were included in the overall targets, they typically were ineligible for financial incentives. Notably, these targets played a significant role in propelling the electrification of various commercial vehicle categories, such as taxis, ride-hailing services, urban logistics vehicles, buses, and more.

The implementation of these six incentives exhibited variation across the cities under scrutiny. Six of the cities were designated as Green Freight Initiative Pilots, while five were situated in Key Regions earmarked for stringent air pollution control. Targets for different types of commercial vehicles, like taxis, urban logistics vehicles, and government fleets, were set by most cities, with varying degrees of stringency.

The report revealed that urban logistics vehicles benefited from the highest number of incentives, closely followed by taxis and ride-hailing services. Impressively, cities such as Haikou, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou led the pack in terms of proactive measures taken to accelerate the transition to NECVs.

An interesting revelation from the report is that some cities utilized general municipal funding to offer fiscal support to select NEV fleets, even without a dedicated policy or program. However, due to a lack of detailed expenditure breakdowns, the extent of this support remains challenging to gauge accurately.

The report also meticulously cataloged city-level targets for NECVs and government fleets in 2020. While government vehicles usually weren’t eligible for financial incentives, they were included due to the ease of electrification within this category. Special-purpose vehicles, which encompass a broad spectrum of types, including postal, sanitation, and engineering vehicles, were targeted by numerous cities.

The ICCT report underscores the pivotal role that city-level policies and targets play in shaping the future of commercial transportation. With these comprehensive insights, cities can continue to refine their strategies and drive the transition toward cleaner, more sustainable mobility solutions.

Source: “Accelerating new energy vehicle uptake in Chinese cities’ | The ICCT

Table depicting city new energy vehicle fleet targets for 2020 across various categories such as government, taxi, TNC, urban logistics, bus, coach, special purpose, and other medium/heavy-duty vehicles for cities including Beijing, Chengdu, Guangzhou, etc.
Source: “Accelerating new energy vehicle uptake in Chinese cities’ | The ICCT
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