Exploring new electric vehicle roadmaps for China in a post-COVID-19 era

China is currently the global leader in battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales annually, a position it has held since 2015 when it surpassed the US. The one positive policy priority in China’s COVID-19 recovery focused on transitioning the transport sector towards development of public transport systems and electrified transport. New energy vehicles (NEVs), which include battery electric vehicles (BEVs), plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), and hydrogen cars, received large boosts in the form of extended purchase subsidy schemes, investment in charging infrastructure, and lowering market entry barriers for BEV producers. In this study explore several sets of scenarios for the evolution of the passenger vehicle stock in China, to inform on the emission reduction and electricity demand implications of increasing rates in market penetration of BEVs and PHEVs and the phase out of conventional fossil vehicles. For each of the three scenarios (Pre-COVID-19, Current Policies, 100% BEV) explore two sets of separate emission pathways (“Renewable Electricity” and “Fossil Electricity”), which are based on developments in the carbon intensity of electricity in China’s power sector and assumes either strict decarbonisation of the power sector until 2050 or decarbonisation at current rate.