Arthur J. Villasanta – Fourth Estate Contributor
Beijing, China (4E) – China’s plans to accomplish what experts say is almost impossible: entirely end the sale of fossil fuel-powered vehicles. The question now is when?
And, is this really possible?
Chinese regulators are working out the details and timetable for this very ambitious nationwide plan. Getting this job done won’t be easy since China is the world’s largest auto market with 28.03 million vehicles sold in 2016, 13.7 percent higher versus sales in 2015.
There are over 160 million cars on Chinese roads. China is the world’s largest auto market.
China sold 507,000 commercial and passenger electric vehicles and hybrids in 2016, a jump of 53 percent from 2015. Sales of pure electric vehicles (EVs) rose 65 percent to 409,000, accounting for 80 percent of what China refers to as “new energy vehicles.”
The State Council, China’s de facto Cabinet, said the country will build more than 12,000 new charging stations before 2020 to fulfill the demands of over five million EVs.
In July, France said it will stop selling fossil fuel cars by 2040. On the other hand, the United Kingdom said it planned to do the same, also by 2040.
Some western analysts believe China’s proposed ban on fossil fuel vehicles is impractical because China doesn’t yet have the capability to manufacture in large numbers the mass of electric cars needs to replace even a small portion of the fo0ddil fueled vehicles on its roads.
Neither does China have the industrial capacity to manufacture large numbers of lithium ion batteries that power electric vehicles.
China, however, has developed some incentive programs for its growing number of electric vehicle makers such as BYD (which is bigger than Tesla), BAIC, Changan, Geely and Zhidou.
China has begun research on a timetable to phase out production and sales of fossil fuel cars but didn’t say when this will occur.
“The measures would surely bring profound changes to the sector’s development,” said Xin Guobin, vice-minister of the Industry and information technology
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