Chinese Electric Car Sales Up 149%

CC BY-ND 2.0. llee_wu

In much the same way as we'll soon have to stop reporting renewable energy production records because they're coming too darned often, I might start having to ration out how often I talk about spikes in electric vehicle sales around the world. While a 170% growth rate in The Netherlands might be impressive, for example, I do have to remind myself that we're still talking about a tiny fraction of cars in one tiny corner of the world.

But this next headline is kind of the opposite:

Business Green reports that sales of electric vehicles were up 149% in China in the first four months of the year. And China being China, that means an awful lot of cars—225,310 to be precise. (It's not immediately clear to me whether this figure includes plug-in hybrids as well as pure battery electric vehicles.)

Given that China is aiming for 2 million electric vehicle sales a year by 2020, there's still some work to be done. But if the city of Shenzhen's fleet of 14,000 all-electric buses is anything to go by, markets can change incredibly fast over there once decision makers put their minds to it.

And with China continuing to add solar at faster-than-expected rates, this growth in electric vehicles couldn't come at a better time. Not only will the grid they get their charge from be greener, but more cars plugging in might just help alleviate concerns about solar overcapacity and grid stability in the country.

In slightly less exciting news, also reported in the Business Green story was the fact that car sales overall were up 11.5% in April. I hope that doesn't mean the Chinese e-bike boom is over...