Electric car sales accelerate in Beijing

A growing number of electric cars are running on the streets of Beijing as the Chinese capital battles air pollution that is partly caused by vehicle emissions.

BAIC BJEV, which has a 66-percent of the electric vehicle market in Beijing, sold 6,223 electric cars in the first half of 2015. The company shifted 5,510 electric cars in the whole of last year.

The government has made electric cars more appealing by offering subsidies. In the lotteries through which many Chinese cities allocate number plates, drivers also have a far better chance of getting a plate for an electric car than for a regular vehicle.

One major electric vehicle store said customers need to wait a month after down payment to get the popular EV200 model.

Tesla, which already has 10 stores in China, told Xinhua it would open at least one more before the end of this year.

Regulators and carmakers are also pushing to build more charging stations for electric cars. BAIC is planning to build charging stations in SINOPEC petrol stations in Beijing. The charging process should take about three minutes, it said.

Xu Heyi, chairman of BAIC Group, has forecast that China will become the world’s biggest electric car market in 2016, or probably this year.

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