(Reuters) — Automakers’ latest projections for rapid growth of China’s green car market have added to concerns of worsening smog as the uptake of electric vehicles powered by coal-fired grids races ahead of a switch to cleaner energy.
Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) plans 15 new-energy models over 3-5 years, its China chief told a green car conference in Beijing on Saturday, predicting – like the government – that Chinese production of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles would grow almost six times to 2 million annually by 2020.
The government has been promoting electric vehicles to cut the smog that frequently envelops Chinese cities, helping sales quadruple last year and making China the biggest market, the finance minister said at the conference. Less than 1 percent of passenger cars are now new energy, but the pace of growth raises their potential to worsen smog.
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