China has announced a plan to ban the sales of fossil fuel-burning vehicles. They don’t have a date set yet – vice minister of industry and information technology Xin Guobin said regulators and the government are working on a timetable. A ban would be a boon for China’s electric car industry, and could have a huge impact on the country’s notoriously awful air quality.
Xin spoke about China’s plan to stop sales and production of the polluting vehicles at an automobile forum over the weekend in Tianjin. He said such a step would impact both the environment, and the growth of the country’s electric car industry. Bloomberg noted China would be the largest market to end sales of fossil fuel-powered cars should they go through with the plan.
Liu Zhijia, assistant general manager at China’s largest passenger car exporter Chery Automobile Company, said, “The implementation of the ban for such a big market like China can be later than 2040. That will leave plenty of time for everyone to prepare.” Chery recently unveiled battery-powered and hybrid vehicle models at a Frankfurt motor show.
China has the second largest economy in the world, and have said they’ll cap carbon emissions by 2030. Their impending fossil fuel vehicle sales ban could encourage automakers to focus on emissions-free electric cars instead.
Large car maker GAC Motor broke ground on a $6.5 billion electric vehicle park earlier this year. BYD, China’s biggest electric vehicle manufacturer, counts actor and activist Leonardo DiCaprio as brand ambassador, and have already delivered 46,855 plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles this year. They’re also backed by Warren Buffett.
Bloomberg noted government subsidies have helped local car manufacturers find success in the electric vehicle market, even as United States companies like Tesla, Nissan, and General Motors are hustling to claim a piece of the market.