China's 12th five-year plan for its automotive industry calls for the development of alternative-energy vehicles to become the nation's foremost priority. By focusing on the development of these clean-running vehicles, China hopes that its automakers will become the world's largest producers of advanced technology vehicles. Reaching that goal may take decades, but efforts to get there are already underway. By 2015, China aims to hit an annual sales target of one million alternative-energy vehicles, the vast majority of which are expected to be hybrids and electric vehicles. One million sales may not be enough to put China in the lead, but expansion efforts don't end there.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology recently announced that China will invest more than 100 billion yuan ($15 billion U.S. at the current exchange rate) over the next 10 years to support new-energy autos. That level of spending, which trumps most other programs currently in place across the globe, could push China to the front of the advanced vehicle pack by 2020. That is, provided that Chinese buyers start showing some interest in hybrids and EVs, which, given what we've reported before, could take a little time.

[Source: People's Daily]

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