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The journey of China’s electric vehicles: the past, the future and recommendations

Lin Gao, co-authoring with Zhaoyang Sun and Xiang Feng produced an English report on China’s electric logistics vehicle industry development. The report is based upon a 203 page Chinese document “China’s New Energy Logistics Vehicle Industry Development” produced by the Qingming Consulting company. The document is the first comprehensive electric logistics vehicle industry study published in China.  The data in the document is from a variety of sources, much of which was collected first-hand by Qingming. The research methods used include quantitative analysis of insurance and other databases, survey questionnaires, forum discussions, and interviews. The 16 sponsors of the document are a collection of key players in the Chinese electric logistics industry, and include governmental organizations, electric vehicle industry trade associations, environmental agencies, automotive companies, EV or charging network operators, logistics companies, and financial institutions.

The document demonstrates how a supportive government policy has in less than 19 years driven the development of Chinese electric vehicle (EV) technology, taking it from the early stages of research to becoming a major part of the national economy. It uses a fact-based approach to reflect issues existing in the industry, to provide an estimate of what future trends could be, and to offer recommendations on how to modify policy and regulation so as to provide continuous support for sustainable development of the Chinese electric vehicle industry.

This value of the document comes firstly from the fact that it spans 19 years of historical electric vehicle industry development, and thus provides useful context to the Chinese government in setting future strategic direction for the Chinese electric logistics vehicle industry. Secondly, it is valuable because the Chinese electric vehicle market is by far the most advanced in the world in terms of current size and market share, and so its experiences, both good and bad, are of interest not only to China but also to other countries looking to increase their own electric vehicle usage. Thirdly, the document contains highly valuable information for research and future electric vehicle related studies.

On the 4th July 2018, China announced the “Blue Sky Protection Plan”, which sets three-year targets for air pollution control, and features EV deployment as one of its main strategies. The findings and recommendations contained in the document are intended to inform the implementation of this environmental protection policy.

If you wish to see a copy of this report, please email Dr. Lin Gao at

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 Policy-driven Electric Vehicle Industry Development

1.1     The need case for China’s electric vehicle industry

1.2     The phases of development of China’s electric vehicle industry

1.3     Policy and regulation

1.4     Summary

Chapter 2 Market Penetration and Outlook

2.1     Electric vehicle market

2.2     Electric logistics vehicle market

2.3     Market drivers and outlook

2.4     Summary

Chapter 3 Products, Technology and Infrastructure

3.1     Electric logistics vehicle

3.2     Electric motor batteries

3.3     Electric motors

3.4     Electric motor control

3.5     Issues facing the Chinese electric logistics vehicle industry

3.6     Future products and technology

3.7     EV charging infrastructure

3.8     Microgrids

3.9     Summary

Chapter 4 Deployment of Electric Vehicles in the Logistics Industry

4.1     Logistics industry and electric vehicles

4.2     Logistics industry segmental analysis

4.3     Characteristics of electric logistics vehicle deployment

4.4     Business models of electric logistics vehicle operators

4.5     The future of the Chinese electric vehicle logistics industry

4.6     The ecosystem of electric logistics vehicles

4.7     Summary

Chapter 5 Investment and Outcomes

Chapter 6 Recommendations on Industry Policy and Regulations