In September, China announced that it will
soon set deadlines to stop selling vehicles that run solely on fossil fuels. In making this commitment, China joins Britain, France, and other signatories to the Paris Climate Agreement who have made similar pledges. China is a world leader in producing electric vehicles. Private Chinese carmakers – and their foreign partners – are already showcasing the next generation of green cars. Still, by some estimates, China will also
need hundreds of thousands of new charging stations to support them. The country’s booming solar industry may
be a part of the answer. Shanghai’s first “light-storage” charging
station for electric cars entered service in October – just before the national holiday. This station, powered by solar photovoltaic cells is not only new, it’s fast. Using li-ion batteries for long-term storage, this station can even charge vehicles at night. In addition to powering cars, any surplus
electricity will go to the grid to help power neighboring communities. This system could help those communities reduce dependence on coal burning power plants as a source of electricity. In the mid-1990s, China deepened its engagement with the global economy. It became the factory floor for the world. With its dramatic economic growth over the past 20 years, also came overwhelming pollution around urban and industrial centers. China surpassed the U.S. in 2005 as the world’s leading emitter of greenhouse gas (GHG). In recent years, China has made it a national priority to develop a greener economy that reduces pollution and carbon emissions. With its growing fleet of electric vehicles,
and advances in solar technology, China is showing its determination to grow its green economy.