China's electric-car revolution may be at risk of grinding to a halt. Only one-tenth of the 500,000 electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles its carmakers plan to produce by 2015 would be able to find a buyer on the mainland unless the central government rolled out supporting policies or extra incentives to boost sales, analysts said. While sales of new-energy vehicles on the mainland during the first quarter of this year exceeded those for the whole of last year, nearly 80 per cent of the 10,202 sales in the first three months were of conventional hybrid vehicles, which are partly fuelled by petrol. Pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars accounted for only one-fifth of the sales, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. China's car manufacturers have big plans for green vehicles. Beijing Automobile Works and Guangzhou Automotive are set to produce up to 200,000 new-energy vehicles a year by 2015, while Changan Automotives aims to make about 150,000 by 2014. Veteran auto analyst Yale Zhang Yu is careful to distinguish between the different types of new-energy vehicle. 'There are a lot of varieties under the umbrella of new-energy car. Among them, electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles still make up a very small portion because facilities for charging them are incomplete,' Zhang said. He says sales of these vehicles on the mainland may not exceed 10 per cent of the government's target over the next three years unless Beijing requires its entire public fleet to be either electric or hybrid or further boosts the subsidies to buyers. Ouyang Minggao, director of the automotive safety and energy laboratory at Tsinghua University in Beijing, said earlier this year that only 200,000 to 250,000 new-energy cars would be sold on the mainland by 2015, when they would account for only 1 per cent of the projected total car sales that year. Long charging times, the scarcity of charging facilities outside major cities and the cars' limited range are still major obstacles for buyers. A State Council meeting this week confirmed the development of electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles is a priority, and set a target of producing at least 500,000 by 2015 and five million by 2020. Major players in the Chinese car market are scrambling to get a foothold in the new-energy sector. Toyota will launch a collection of new-energy models, including a new plug-in hybrid NS4, at the Beijing auto show next week. Shanghai Automotive plans to set up a new factory with its partner General Motors in Wuhan to develop green vehicles and hopes to have a 20 per cent share of the mainland market by 2015.