China Postpones Crackdown on Gas-Powered Cars Production

New car park 1 photo
Photo: Niekverlaan on Pixabay
When faced with taking rapid measures or risking to make the air in the country's biggest cities unbreathable, China chose the former and is now the leading market for both sales and production.
Like others, China is also considering a ban on all fossil fuel cars at some point in the future, but it hasn't penned a clear schedule so far. We'd like to remind you that France gave manufacturers that want to sell gas-powered cars within its borders until 2040, with the United Kingdom and Scotland following suite.

More recently we've heard the U.S. state of California mulling a similar decision, but it's still early for any specifics. Whatever the case, it's clear the days of the combustion engine are numbered, even though they're still in the thousands for now.

China, however, can't afford to sit idle and wait for a distant date to arrive before it amplifies its efforts to shift the balance of the vehicles on its street toward those with zero emissions. That's why it has announced today a measure similar to the Californian ZEV mandate.

The decision forces manufacturers that want to build fossil fuel-powered cars to first get an energy vehicle score by producing low-emission and zero emission vehicles (EVs or PHEVs). They need to have a 10 percent score by 2019, and then raise the bar by another two percent for the next year.

China was forced to push the new set of rules back by one year after the automakers complained the initial timeframe was unrealistic. The restrictions only apply to carmakers that look to build over 30,000 units a year, so the low-volume companies will not be affected.

“Political considerations must have weighed in on the decision to delay the commencement date by a year,” said Cao He, chairman of Quanlian Auto Investment Management Co, quoted by Bloomberg. “Local automakers will likely benefit from this as they will have more buffer time to get ready on the technology front.”

With almost every major manufacturer having a strong presence in the Chinese market, these measures will surely impact their lineup. Some of them are already selling certain market-specific models there, but most are working on new EV models anyway with release dates that coincide with the new timeline on the rules.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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