Bejing Increases Subsidies for Electric Vehicles

The electric car has long been a strange and controversial issue in our world. The technology for such transportation is not new–in fact, fully electric and gasoline-free automobiles could have become the standard on our roads several years ago. Opposition to this kind of alternative energy has been strong in a world that is dependent on oil in so many ways, but the winds of change have been growing stronger in recent years. Officials in Beijing are now set to increase subsidies for electric and hybrid vehicles, which could help to push one of the world’s fastest growing economies into the electric realm.

China is a land torn between two eras. A strong and rich cultural history in this country dates back thousands of years, and there is a powerful adherence to national tradition in Chinese society. On the other hand, industrialization is rapidly bringing China up to speed with the most powerful nations in the world. This progress, however, has come with a price tag. China is now home to some of the most polluted cities in the world, and the demand for new environmentally conscious policies is strong both in China and abroad. Increased electric vehicle subsidies represent a big change in ideals.

In an effort to clear the smog over heavily polluted Beijing, the city will match a 60,000 yuan government subsidy on electric vehicles. This subsidy is the equivalent to almost $10,000 USD, and will combine with the central government subsidy to offer significant financial aid to offer a huge incentive to fuel-efficient vehicle owners. Electric cars have not become highly popular in Beijing, largely due to the lack of infrastructure and high price for these vehicles. People all over the world have been reluctant to switch to electric vehicles for the same reason, but government incentives like this may help encourage a major lifestyle change.

The pollution problem in Beijing is often underestimated by foreigners, but not by residents and city officials. A city of 20 million is naturally going to struggle with controlling environmental impact. Traffic congestion and heavy smog have led city officials to regulate new vehicle registrations and restrict the use of private vehicles on the roads. New subway lines have also been constructed in hopes of reducing the environmental impact of automobile emissions. Increased subsidies for electric and hybrid vehicles are just one part of Beijing’s plan to become more eco-friendly and combat the pollution that has overtaken the city in recent years.

The electric car subsidy in Beijing represents a big step in the right direction for this conflicted booming metropolis. The problems that keep electric vehicles off the roads today are largely financial. In a time when evenĀ choosing auto insurance is a major financial commitment, many people cannot afford to make the investment in alternative energy. Government subsidies will hopefully help to dissolve these problems. By offering electric car subsidies, Beijing is encouraging its residents to move toward sustainable lifestyles, and that is a major step in the right direction.

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