China’s Fossil Fuel Deadline Shifts Focus to Electric Car Race
China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, becoming the biggest market to do so in a move that will accelerate the push into the electric car market led by companies including BYD Co. and BAIC Motor Corp.
Xin Guobin, the vice minister of industry and information technology, said the government is working with other regulators on a timetable to end production and sales. The move will have a profound impact on the environment and growth of China’s auto industry, Xin said at an auto forum in Tianjin on Saturday.
The world’s second-biggest economy, which has vowed to cap its carbon emissions by 2030 and curb worsening air pollution, is the latest to join countries such as the U.K. and France seeking to phase out vehicles using gasoline and diesel. The looming ban on combustion-engine automobiles will goad both local and global automakers to focus on introducing more zero-emission electric cars to help clean up smog-choked major cities.
China does not set a date, just says one is coming. Chinese automakers are putting a smiley face on the announcement.
“The implementation of the ban for such a big market like China can be later than 2040,” said Liu Zhijia, an assistant general manager at Chery Automobile Co., the country’s biggest passenger car exporter that unveiled a new line for upscale battery-powered and plug-in hybrid models at the Frankfurt motor show last week. “That will leave plenty of time for everyone to prepare.”
Yeah, about that.
If China is looking to cap carbon emissions by 2030 and improve air quality, I am guessing they have a date in mind much closer than “later than 2040”. Also, this announcement is a big slap in the face to all the automakers (except Tesla) who have been pressing China to relax its EV requirements and let them sell more ICVs and fewer EVs.
EVs in the U.S. have now arrived at 1% of sales, up from 0.01% in 2010. That might not seem like much, but it is a two order of magnitude improvement in seven years. If we cut that growth rate in half, that would mean that EVs would make up 10% of car sales in 2024, and 100% of sales by 2031.
Seems to me we are at the bottom of the “S-curve” right before it spikes upward.