China mandates 30 percent of government cars be electric

China is requiring that at least 30 percent of government vehicle purchases be electric cars by 2016.

The mandate is the latest in a string of efforts by the country to combat increasing air pollution and cut energy use, Bloomberg reports.

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China's central government ministries and agencies will handle the purchases of "new-energy vehicles," or electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell automobiles.

After 2016 the number of electric vehicles are expected to increase when local provinces are required to meet the standard.

China also announced last week it would wave a 10 percent purchase tax for "new-energy vehicles." 

The new initiatives comes days after Secretary of State John Kerry's visit to China. The two countries signed eight climate change agreements focused on carbon capture and the electric grid. They also agreed to place more stringent emissions standards on vehicles and trucks.