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Asia Minute: Electric Vehicle Sales Power Ahead in China

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Wikipedia Commons

Some delegates to the UN climate change talks in Paris are making use of 200 electric vehicles supplied by automakers. And while these cars are just on loan, the sales of electric vehicles are getting more attention this week in Asia. HPR’s Bill Dorman has more in today’s Asia Minute. 

Automakers in China expect their home turf will soon become the world’s biggest market for electric vehicles - overtaking the United States by the end of this year. The China Association of Automobile Manufacturers predicts domestic sales may reach a quarter of a million this year - compared to about 180-thousand in the United States.  The group says worldwide sales of electric vehicles should reach 600-thousand by New Year’s.  It says electric vehicle sales in China nearly tripled in the first ten months of this year - helped by government subsidies and tax breaks.

In the United States, sales are virtually flat.  That’s according to figures compiled by the website Clean Technica and by IHS Automotive.   Cheaper gasoline may be one factor - while some consumers may be waiting for newer models that can drive longer distances between charges.

In Hawai‘i, sales of Tesla’s high-end plug-in cars are one growth area.  Sales nearly doubled over the first three quarters of this year, to 119 vehicles.  While China and the United States still dominate the global market by sheer numbers, NORWAY is a different kind of world leader.  Earlier this year, IHS Automotive reported that nearly a third of all new auto registrations in Norway are electric vehicles. 

Bill Dorman has been the news director at Hawaiʻi Public Radio since 2011.
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