By 2007, 8,000 buses and 40,000 cabs in Beijing will be fueled by green energy, accounting for 90 percent and 70 percent of the total numbers respectively, according to Beijing Mayor Liu Qi.
Liu said 168 natural gas stations will also have been built by then.
Last year Beijing planned to use more than 45 billion yuan for environmental protection in five years, including the popularization of clean-fuel automobiles.
Beijing Public Transportation Corporation also plans to invest 12.8 billion yuan in the next few years to replace over ten thousand buses with new ones and to build a batch of natural gas stations.
In the past decade, the number of automobiles in Beijing has grown by more than ten percent every year. It is estimated that the total number will climb to 2.5 million from the present 1.6 million by 2008.
Currently, pollution caused by motor vehicles has become one of the major pollution sources in the capital city, and the municipal government has made a series of efforts to control auto emission in recent years, doing away with 600,000 used cars and, as of the end of 2000, retrofitting 180,000 motor vehicles.
In 1998, Beijing led the country in putting in effect the Euro I emission standards, encouraging the use of lead-free gasoline and green fuels. In five years, the city will impose the Euro III emission standards bypassing the Euro II standards, a move that will reduce pollution by 60 percent from the current level.
The Chinese government laid down the policy of researching and developing diversified energy-fueled vehicles while cleaning traditional petrol-fueled autos several years ago and made Beijing,Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen pilot cities to popularize green fuels. Meanwhile, China's auto makers have also started developing more environmental-friendly vehicles.
Xu Guanhua, China's Minister of Science and Technology, said atlast year's Sino-U.S. Clean Energy Technology Forum that the country will in its 10th Five-Year Plan period (2001 to 2005) attach strategic importance to the efficient and rational use of clean energy and environmental protection.
Xu also said that China expects to enhance exchanges and cooperation with the United States in the field of clean energy and environmental protection, and hopes the U.S. Department of Energy will go on supporting such mutually beneficial cooperation.
(People's Daily February 22, 2002)