China, the U.S. and Europe are by far the largest consumers of energy and thus natural resources in the world. China is also the largest automotive market in the world with sales topping 28 million vehicles last year. However, air pollution has become a huge problem, especially in the large cities. So the government of China has been incentivizing companies to produce electric vehicles as a partial solution. This includes subsidies for new companies, incentives to current auto companies and even permission for foreign companies to form joint ventures with Chinese firms to develop electric models and increase supply.
Recently, there have been reports that the Chinese government is preparing legislation that will include a deadline for the sale of all internal combustion engines. If true, this could be a major push for the electric vehicle world. China would certainly take a leadership role in this technology and likely push other continents, like North America and Europe to follow in some capacity.
China's actual ability to make such a conversion from fossil fuel vehicles is debatable as their current demand for vehicles exceeds supply, so ramping up production to such levels seems difficult at best. Nevertheless, it would be a welcome sign to environmentalists worldwide and a certain boost to the electric vehicle world!
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