Smartphone maker ZTE plans to invest 1.5 billion yuan (HK$1.8 billion) in wireless charging technology for vehicles this year and more than two billion yuan next year, a senior executive said yesterday. ZTE's director of corporate strategy, George Sun, also said the company had signed agreements with more than 20 mainland cities to provide wireless charging technology for public transport, in a significant boost for the electric car industry. "So far the feedback [from local governments] is very, very positive," Sun said. "We solved the biggest headache of electric car charging for local government." Mainland drivers have yet to widely adopt the use of electric vehicles despite years of government programmes to support their development, although public transport fleets are a notable exception. Shenzhen-based ZTE is planning to conduct pre-commercial trials of wireless charging for public transport in 50 to 100 mainland cities this year, Sun said. ZTE was in talks with several Chinese and foreign carmakers over possible collaboration on wireless charging technology for vehicles, he added, declining to elaborate. Wireless charging technology saves space, allowing governments to install it in bus terminals or car parks, although the costs for wireless equipment are higher than traditional charging facilities. In a renewed effort aimed at cutting heavy pollution, the mainland has rolled out aggressive targets for vehicle fuel efficiency that will grow increasingly strict until 2020, at which time its standards will have surpassed the United States and be on roughly equal footing with Japan. The central government has offered tax cuts for green vehicles and proposed extending subsidies, mostly for domestic producers, to aid carmakers in meeting fuel efficiency targets.