It's no secret that China wants to be at the forefront of today's nascent electric car industry, and over the past few years, it's devoted a lot of money toward making that dream a reality. According to the AP, however, China's government-fueled initiatives have yet to pan out, forcing the country to reevaluate its ambitions. Back in 2009, the Chinese regime projected sales of 500,000 electric vehicles by 2015, but today, domestic manufacturers are well off pace to reach that goal, and would be lucky to sell even 2,000 cars by the end of this year. China has yet to adjust its previously stated sales goals, but officials acknowledge that development is progressing slower than anticipated, and have recently announced state-backed initiatives to spur growth in intermediate technologies, such as hybrids and more fuel-efficient gas cars.
Many attribute the delay to technological hurdles and a lack of consumer demand, citing the country's thin recharging infrastructure and reports of some domestically-produced batteries catching fire. Premier Wen Jiabao acknowledged these setbacks, as well as an industry-wide lack of direction in a journal article published last July. "We've only just begun in electric car development," Wen wrote. "We have not set clear enough goals of which way to go." Going forward, then, China may look to adopt a more measured approach to electric transportation, and as a result, it will likely need to recalibrate its expectations.