China is working on a timeline to ban the production and sale of internal combustion vehicles, North American Energy News reports, although the exact schedule is still under review.
“Some countries have made a timeline for when to stop the production and sales of traditional fuel cars,” Xin Guobin, the country’s vice minister of industry and information technology, told an automobile forum in Tianjin. “The ministry has also started relevant research and will make such a timeline with relevant departments. Those measures will certainly bring profound changes for our car industry’s development.”
NAEN notes that China has been moving in this direction for some time, with mandates for EVs to account for 8% of all vehicle sales in 2018, 10% in 2020, and 12% by 2020. While automakers were already asking the country to delay the targets, reporter Markham Hislop notes how quickly battery technology is improving—adding that “China has already signaled it wants to dominate the global EV manufacturing segment.”
China had the sheer manufacturing volume to drive down solar cell costs, and the country also “has the capital, manufacturing capacity, technology know how, and policy focus” to do the same with EVs.
And that aggressive push means that, “in the blink of an eye, the forecast by the International Energy Agency that oil demand will increase from its current level around 96 million to 113 million barrels per day—most of that rise driven by economic expansion in China and India—now seems overly optimistic,” Hislop writes. “And the smug oil executives in Calgary, some of whom have laughed off the challenge presented by electrification, need to re-examine their business plans and political strategies.”