China’s Daunting Math

This month’s Wired featured a souped up hybrid Prius on the cover and included a report by Lisa Margonelli on China’s Next Cultural Revolution….in alternative fuels.

“After food, oil is the most important issue for Chinese economic planners. Without an increasing supply of oil, high GDP growth will be impossible, creating unemployment and social unrest, potentially threatening the government’s hold on power. That’s not all. Dependency on foreign oil inevitably leads to war. ‘If you pump for oil, you have to fight wars for it.’ (Pump and fight sound similar in Mandarin.)

Among the charts in the article one showed that China’s demand for gasoline will be five time’s today’s figure in 2025. China now has 200,000 alternative fuel vehicles in service, and will convert 120,000 buses to run on natural gas before the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.