China promotes new-energy buses in Beijing

Chinese authorities released a plan Wednesday requiring the heavily polluted cities of Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei Province to put more new-energy buses on the road to cut pollution.

China aims to promote the use of 20,222 new-energy cars in the region’s public transport system from 2014 to 2015, according to the plan jointly released by seven departments, including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and National Development and Reform Commission.

By the end of 2015, new-energy vehicles should take no less than 16 percent of the total buses in those regions, the plan said. The number of charging posts are estimated to reach 19,657.

The announcement is the latest government effort to address the increasingly serious pollution in the area.

Beijing and eight of its neighboring cities were among the 10 Chinese cities with the worst air quality in the third quarter this year.

The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region on average suffered from air pollution 45 per cent of the days in the third quarter, according to Tuesday’s data from the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

It did not say what the major pollutant in the region were, though earlier reports released in August had pointed to ozone and PM2.5.

China began to include PM2.5, a key indicator of air pollution, and ozone in its new air quality standard in 2013, as a series of choking smog spells raised public concerns.

The Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region will be once again be shrouded by smog beginning Thursday, the local observatory has predicted.

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