59,000 plug-in cars sold in China last month

China smog
CC BY 2.0 Flickr

That's 80% more than in September 2016.

Given China's not-so-long-ago reliance on the bicycle, headlines around skyrocketing car sales are a mixed bag for us TreeHuggers. But if you're going to sell a lot of cars, the news reported over at Cleantechnica that 59,000 of them were plug-ins—an 80 percent rise compared to the year before—is certainly an encouraging sign.

True, plug-in cars still represent a relatively small (1.8%) segment of the market. But it's a segment that's growing fast, and with China looking to electric vehicles to challenge the incumbent, fossil fuel-invested European and North American auto giants, I suspect this trend will continue. Meanwhile, in other Cleantechnica news (yeah, I don't know what I'd do without them), ABB is bidding for a government tender to install 4,500 electric vehicle charging stations across India.

With oil companies buying up charging networks in Europe, Western states including Montana, Idaho and Wyoming banding together to install electric vehicle infrastructure, and countries like China and India—once thought of as the glowing prospects for fossil fuel-driven growth—increasingly looking to cleaner alternatives, you really have to ask yourself how long people are going to keep investing in maintaining or replacing legacy infrastructure like pipelines, oil drilling, and mining.

Related Content on Treehugger.com