China’s electric vehicle production is expected to exceed government targets and reach 1 million units next year and 3 million units by 2020. The government goal was to produce 2 million units a year by 2020. Chinese manufacturers built 424,000 new low- and zero-emissions vehicles in the first three quarters of 2017, including hybrids. This is up 40.2 percent compared with the first three quarters of 2016, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Chinese manufacturers are increasingly confident in country-wide electrification. Wang Chuanfu, chairman of leading electric carmaker BYD, said in September that all of their vehicles could be electrified by as early as 2030. Xu Heyi, chairman of state-owned automotive and industrial manufacturer BAIC Group, is confident that current production will exceed state targets. He spoke to reporters at the ongoing Communist Party Congress and confirmed that the trend towards electric vehicles was indisputable. Xu pointed to market factors and growing popularity rather than government targets as the primary cause for rapid electrification.
However, the communist government is considering setting an official timetable to ban the sale and production of gasoline and diesel vehicles. This is in addition to current production targets for EVs. China is now set to manufacture 7 million electric cars by 2025, amounting to one-fifth of total car production. No wonder General Motors, Volkswagen, and their competitors are racing to design a full slate of zero-emissions vehicles aimed at China, France, or the United Kingdom—while the United States is falling behind.