Monthly Archives: December 2014

China Takes Action Against Severe Pollution and Snarling Traffic

China has announced that it is extending it’s green vehicle subsidies to 2020. The current incentive plan was set to expire at the end of 2015.

The policy represents China’s latest effort to fight severe pollution and snarling traffic and is a boon to firms such as BYD Co., the country’s biggest maker of electric vehicles.

Subsidies will be granted to buyers of EV, highly electrified plug-in hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles, with the amount of subsidies gradually scaled down during the period from 2016 to 2020, according to the draft rules posted on the Ministry of Finance’s website.

China has rolled out a series of policies to encourage sales of green vehicles, hoping the industry can help China fight pollution and reduce the country’s reliance on imported oil.

Production of such vehicles in China has jumped five-fold during the first 11 months of this year compared with 2013, but the industry still far lags Beijing’s goal of putting 5 million new-energy vehicles on Chinese roads by 2020.

Read the full story here.

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Are electric vehicles as green as we think?

Electric vehicles are believed to be the solution to the world’s pollution problem but a new study has revealed that this may not be completely true. Are they really as green as we think they are?

The crux of the issue is where the electric car gets its power–if burning coal provides the energy, a “green” all-electric vehicle generates enough pollution to contribute to 3.6 times more soot and smog deaths than gasoline does, said the study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Department of Energy data says that 39 percent of the country’s electricity comes from coal, with West Virginia, Wyoming, Ohio, North Dakota and Illinois notching the highest percentages of coal-generated electricity.

In the study, the researchers examined “the air quality-related human health impacts of 10 [alternative fuel] options, including the use of liquid biofuels, diesel and compressed natural gas (CNG) in internal combustion engines; the use of electricity from a range of conventional and renewable sources to power electric vehicles (EVs); and the use of hybrid EV technology.”

Vehicles that make the air dirtier increase pollution, making all-electric cars worse for the environment than traditional gas-powered options.

Natural gas is a greener power source since it will allow an EV to produce half as many pollution-related problems as a traditional fuel-powered car, the study found. Hybrids and diesel engines are also healthier options, releasing less greenhouse gas and resulting in fewer pollution-related deaths.

“It’s kind of hard to beat gasoline,” said study co-author Julian Marshall, an engineering professor at the University of Minnesota, as quoted by the Associated Press. “A lot of the technologies that we think of as being clean … are not better than gasoline.

Read the full story here.

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