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Most Beijing Buses to Use Clean Fuel in 2008

An official with China's Ministry of Science and Technology said in Bejing Friday that 90 percent of public buses and 70 percent of taxis will be clean vehicles in 2008, when Beijing hosts the Olympics.

Xu Jing, vice director of the ministry's hi-tech development and industrialization department, said by 2008, Beijing will need a total of 18,000 clean vehicles, including 1,000 pollution-free electronic vehicles.

At the same time, Shanghai, China's most populous city and a financial hub, will have at least 1,000 clean electronic vehicles, including 20 to 30 fuel cell cars, Xu said.

At present, a fleet of 20 electronic buses are running on the No. 121 public transportation line. Another fleet of hybrid cars are now being tried out in Wuhan, capital of central China's Hubei Province.

Since 1999, the Chinese government has encouraged research and development on clean vehicles, including cars using clean fuel or alternative fuel, electronic cars, hybrid cars and fuel cell cars.

The state invested more than 1 billion yuan (US$120 million) into research and development, producing 22 technical standards for electronic cars manufacturing and 40 standards for fuel cars.

Leading domestic car manufacturers, engine-makers, research institutes and universities are joining the state research plan for cultivating China's clean vehicle industry.

Official statistics show that in 2004, China consumed 292 million tons of crude oil, 123 million tons of which were imported. Nationwide vehicles took up one third of the country's total oil consumption.

According to an estimation done by the State Environmental Protection Administration, in 2005 vehicle waste gas emissions will account for 79 percent of air pollution.

Research and development on clean vehicles has already been included in the country's strategic science and technology outline in the coming 15 years.

(Xinhua News Agency July 9, 2005)

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