Although China is a country with one of Asia's lowest per-capita percentages of car ownership, an exhibit in Beijing last week was designed to catapult it onto the cutting edge of automobile technology.
A variety of non-petrol cars were put through their paces to see if they were up to the test.
Chinese, well-known for their love for the bicycle, were treated to an unusual spectacle last week as a non-petrol vehicle exhibition in Beijing drew to a close.
Cars using alternative energies such as natural gas, electricity and solar power hit the road Friday in a test to determine which future role they might play in China's expanding market.
This Chinese solar-powered entry was certainly the most eye-catching, but with only one seat and a sticker price of roughly 84-thousand U-S dollars, it may not be the ideal family vehicle.
Major international car makers such as Citroen, Toyota, Ford and others were represented at the Beijing car show, trying to drum up interest in alternative kinds of fuel.
Many of China's private cars today are owned by taxi drivers who drive some 300 to 400 kilometres (200 to 300 miles) a day, a distance no electric car could currently manage.
In a rapidly developing country like China, however, one of the biggest concerns over the expansion of the car industry is the pollution that goes with it.
And that's one of the key selling points of these vehicles.
"Of course there's no exhaust fumes, and the noise is very low as you have just heard, so of course it's beneficial to the environment."
SUPER CAPTION: Yao Binyu, Engineer
Most car makers estimate that electric vehicles might well be used as busses and other public transport to reduce noise and pollution in China's booming cities.
Demand for motor vehicles in China will increase by some 8 percent next year, reaching one point 66 (m) million vehicles, according to Chinese officials.
And without an anti-pollution strategy, that demand spells danger for China's environment.
But industry executives say it's not just China that needs progress in this area.
"It's really a matter of establishing a national fuel policy - not only in China, but in any region."
SUPER CAPTION: David Replogle, Vice President Ford Motor (China) Ltd.
This year, China is expected to build one point 55 (m) million motor vehicles and import 80-thousand.
Business and government departments buy most of China's cars.
But while the market demand for private cars is still in its early stages, it is growing rapidly.
And manufacturers hope that the success of electric vehicles in countries such as Japan will repeat itself in China.