Maybe Warren Buffett's bet on Chinese electric-vehicle maker BYD will pay off after all. That's because the Chinese government just made a commitment to buy lots of advanced-powertrain vehicles through its government-vehicle system in an effort to address the notorious pollution problem in China's largest cities, the Associated Press says, citing China's Xinhua News Agency.

China is committing to have at least 30 percent of its new government vehicles to be either plug-in vehicles, including battery electrics and plug-in hybrids, or zero-emissons vehicles like hydrogen fuel-cell and solar-powered vehicles. That 30-percent rate will run from this year to 2016, after which it will go higher. Heady stuff for the world's largest vehicle market.

In 2012, the China State Council passed the New Energy Automobile Industry Development Plan, which set a goal of having a half-million electric vehicle's on the country's roads by the end of 2015 and 5 million in China by the end of the decade. China's progress so far on that goal? Not great. Last year, there were fewer than 7,000 electric passenger vehicles sold in China.

Regardless, BYD cut a deal in March to sell 1,200 electric buses to the city of Dalian, China. And things got better from there, as BYD said in May that the city of Hangzhou ordered 2,000 buses as well as 1,000 electric e6 taxis.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 12 Comments
      Grendal
      • 5 Months Ago
      Sounds like a very smart move to me. Good luck with that, China.
        Actionable Mango
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        It's probably just green washing again. China has made many environmental announcements and passed many environmental laws. But the announcements are never followed up on and the laws are ignored. It's just like the Chinese Constitution, which proclaims that "citizens of the People's Republic of China enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession, and of demonstration." ...hahahaha! Sounds great on paper, but doesn't apply to real life.
      EVSUPERHERO
      • 5 Months Ago
      I would like to see these solar powered vehicles they mention. I saw a golf cart one time with solar panels on top, it did not have a plug. Hey they switched back to the old comment system. I was scared of the other one so I never posted.
      Driver
      • 5 Months Ago
      They'll do it. Government projects get done very quickly in China unlike in most other places. They don't waste years and millions of tax payer dollars on endless government studies to make stupid lobby groups happy, they just get it done.
      brotherkenny4
      • 5 Months Ago
      Perhaps now that the US federal government no longer owns part of GM they should consider a similar mandate. Fleet vehicles certainly get used enough so that the gasoline savings can justify the added up front costs and federal sites should be installing infrastructure to support EVs anyway. It's possible that a bulk purchase of vehicles is enough to get preferred pricing on the vehicles too. I'll bet if GM got an order for a thousand Volts they'd cut the buyer, whoever that may be, a deal on price per vehicle.
        Ryan
        • 5 Months Ago
        @brotherkenny4
        The US government should have done that to help bail out GM... Just buy a bunch of EVs and extended range EVs.
          rick.danger
          • 5 Months Ago
          @Ryan
          GM didn't have any EV or EREV cars back then to buy.
      DaveMart
      • 5 Months Ago
      Presumably this is at least medium gigantic. What Government departments order is under their direct control and can be precisely regulated, unlike vaguer targets of 1 million on the road by year x and so on. It really depends on whether they are talking about central government only or they make all the countless regional administrations etc order at that level. I have no idea of how many vehicles we are talking about, but for a population of way over a billion people we have to be talking telephone numbers for vehicles in Government and quasi-Government use.
        DaveMart
        • 5 Months Ago
        @DaveMart
        I've just got my head around the fact that the number of Government employees, local government etc has to be at least equivalent to the population of a medium sized country like France. If electrification of 30% of the transport for them goes ahead, that is way bigger than everything so far in all the rest of the world combined.
      Technoir
      • 5 Months Ago
      These laws are mere recommendations. They are not enforced.
      • 5 Months Ago
      Aren't they looking good?