Importance of Electric Vehicles Highlighted

China needs to speed up the development of the industry for electric cars and energy -efficient automobiles as part of efforts to save energy and protect the environment, a senior government official said.

Wan Gang, minister of Science and Technology said that the nation plans to increase the market share of hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), plug-in electric vehicles and fuel cell vehicles, and enhance the competitiveness of automakers and parts producers in the energy-efficient auto sector during the 12th five-year plan period from 2011-2015.

Wan explained the concept behind each energy-efficient model, pointing out that HEVs are energy-saving vehicles, which combine a conventional internal combustion engine propulsion system with an electric propulsion system.

In contrast, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), also known as plug-in hybrids, are similar to HEVs but have rechargeable batteries that can be restored to full charge by connecting the vehicle to an external electric power source.

However, fuel cell vehicles differ from HEVs and PHEVs because they produce no emissions and are totally clean. Wan emphasized that the best way for motorists to protect the environment and reduce emissions is to use fuel cell vehicles.

Wan also noted that the next 5 years will be crucial for the development of the electric car sector.