The environmental case for electric vehicles in China has been complicated by research questioning whether the cars could produce more pollution than those with internal combustion engines. The issue is causing scrutiny over China’s push to become the world’s EV champion by 2025. The government has justified devoting massive resources to encouraging domestic EV production – including billions of dollars in subsidies and production quotas – based on the proposition they are greener than petrol-engine cars. But the environmental benefits were unclear, experts said. While China has been on a green energy push for years, coal still accounts for an overwhelming proportion of electricity production, meaning that charging electric batte ries also burns carbon – often at a higher per-kilometre rate than petrol engines. While the adoption of EVs would lower the growth of China’s oil consumption – much of which is imported – it might be less effective than expected in reducing China’s air pollution.
FT 20th May 2018 read more »