Ideologically and politically the governments of China and the United States are probably two of the most disparate in the world.
But there is something in which they are closer than one might think. At least between the Asian giant and the most populous state in the United States.
The leaders of China and California have been collaborating for several years in the fight against climate change. The surprising thing is that the willingness is maintained despite the current commercial tension between the United States and China.
And a clear example of this tuning is the interest that exists on both sides of the Pacific to encourage the production and sale of electric cars.
The governor of California, Jerry Brown, traveled to China last year to speak with President Xi Jinping on different strategies to fight against climate change.
Energy and transport are the central axis of this collaboration.
Both have programs that limit polluting emissions from factories, power plants and gasoline suppliers.
California aims to have on its roads 5 million cars clean of emissions by 2030. China wants to have 7 million electric vehicles by 2025. China designed its plan to promote electric cars based on the California program.
Until now, the main obstacle that the defenders of the electric cars are in is the high price of these vehicles, in comparison with the internal combustion engine.
Aware of this problem, the governments of China and California devised systems to stimulate the interest of consumers.
Thus, anyone who wants to buy an electric vehicle in California can benefit from a deduction of US $ 2,500
According to official data, the state has invested around US $ 500 million in refunds to finance cars that run on batteries or the so-called fuel cell, an electrochemical device that supplies electricity.
Governor Brown has proposed extending the subsidies with an additional budget of US $ 2.5 billion.
China also compensates those who buy electric cars, especially if vehicles can cover long distances with a single recharge.
For their part, China and California established a series of emissions reduction targets that automakers have to meet.
Car companies have two ways to achieve the goal: sell a certain number of non-polluting cars or, if they do not reach the percentage, buy credits from competitors who have achieved it.
This program has made manufacturers offer a greater selection of electric cars: there are more than 20 electric or hybrid models in the market, compared to the little variety that was a few years ago.
China has a similar program of production and credit objectives.
“China uses the stick more than the carrot,” writes Steve Man, a Hong Kong-based analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “The generous subsidies have almost disappeared, and emission controls are becoming stricter.”
Another important barrier that prevents the general expansion of electric cars is the scarce access to public recharging points.
Many vehicles are being manufactured, but not all consumers have access to a battery charging station.
The last plan of the regional government of California contemplates the investment of US $ 900 million in the installation of 250,000 electrical charging stations, in comparison with the current 14,000.
The Chinese government is also investing in the construction of facilities to load the car throughout the country. According to China’s National Energy Administration, the plan is to add 600,000 points this year.
Subsidies to consumers will be gradually replaced by investments in recharging stations.