Cashing in on China's carbon neutral drive

The head of a top Chinese battery maker thinks Beijing's green push - and manufacturing power- could make electric cars just as competitive as fossil fuel vehicles within a decade.

Octillion Power Systems makes custom batteries for carmakers and like others, it's hoping to cash in on the rise of electric cars in China.

Its CEO Peng Zhou says tough emissions rules, better electric cars and a nationwide push to cut greenhouse gases are driving a boom.

"So it is an exciting time. It fundamentally changed the dynamics from a subsidy driven market to a consumer driven market. So, yes, I think the force has awakened."

China is the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases but its set an ambitious goal to go carbon neutral by 2060.

New Tesla owner, Shanghai resident Jin Sheng is convinced the country is making the right switch:

"Of course I believe electric vehicles are the future. Governments are supporting them and many automobile enterprises are developing their own.

However, environmental groups have pointed out a big downside, a surge in battery waste of this growing industry.

Zheng Mingyuan is a campaigner for Greenpeace and he points out that making an electric vehicle generates more emissions than traditional cars...

"If we wish for electric vehicles to truly live up to their name and to provide a boost to carbon neutrality we need the government, the whole sector, companies, and all sides to work towards achieving sustainability of the resources."

Zheng also points out concerns over where the electricity comes from.

He says that in China's case, around two thirds of electricity comes from the burning of coal.

Chinese cities have responded to the waste question by setting up recycling schemes.

But Zhou, the battery CEO, shrugs off any "pollution nightmare" - he believes scarce resources like nickel and cobalt in the batteries mean people will try to make money by reclaiming them, rather than dumping them.

While the country pushes for new energy sources, in a recent energy report, China has also said it will still promote coal, but under the label of "clean and efficient."