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With the Chinese government recently announcing plans to invest a whopping 100 billion yuan ($14.7 billion U.S. at the current exchange rate) into the development and production of alternative energy vehicles, and with the bulk majority of the funds reportedly earmaked for electric vehicles (EVs), it now appears China will soon lead the world in EV sales. A recent study, conducted by Pike Research, predicts that China will have at least one million EVs on their roads by 2015. The same study suggests that the U.S. will lag behind slightly, with only 840,000 plug-ins scattered across our nation's highways and byways by then. We may be in second place, but an average of 168,000 plug-in vehicles sold a year for the next five years is pretty remarkable.
China may be projected to reign EV supreme, but Pike says the U.S. will become the world's hottest hybrid market. The study predicts that hybrid sales in China will only reach 850,000 units from now until 2015. Meanwhile, the U.S. is expected to tally an astounding 2.3 million hybrid sales within that time.
China's $14.7 billion investment makes our government's commitment of $2.5 billion look comparatively small. The study suggests that China's substantial EV incentives, coupled with the fact that many first-time car buyers are entering its automotive market, will help to quickly push the nation's EV sales right on past the U.S.