HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Director of Environmental and Natural Resource Program and Senior Research Associate
Senior Lecturer in Public Policy


The Chinese government has repeatedly embraced a goal of developing and deploying electric vehicles (EVs) as it attempts to transition its passenger fleet away from conventional gasoline and diesel-fueled cars. China’s commitment to EVs is driven by the negative health impacts from local air pollution and anxiety over the country’s growing reliance on imported oil and the energy security problems that accompany it. China’s goal is to have five million EVs on the road by the end of 2020, increasing to over 80 million by 2030. This paper addresses two questions: 1. Is China likely to succeed in meeting its ambitious EV goals? 2. Will EV deployment reduce greenhouse gas emissions as compared to the continued use of conventional gasoline-fueled cars? This question is answered from both an operational and a lifecycle perspective.


Qiao, Qinyu, and Henry Lee. "The Role of Electric Vehicles in Decarbonizing China’s Transportation Sector." Environment and Natural Resources Program, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, April 2019.