Regulators studying when to ban sales of traditional fuel cars: Xinhua

By Reuters - Global Times Source:Reuters-Global Times Published: 2017/9/10 22:58:40

China has begun studying when to ban the production and sale of vehicles using traditional fuels, the Xinhua News Agency reported, citing comments by the vice industry minister, who predicted "turbulent times" for automakers forced to adapt.

 "Some countries have made a timeline for when to stop the production and sales of traditional fuel cars," Xin Guobin, vice minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology was quoted as saying at an auto industry event in Tianjin on Saturday.

"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," he said.

To combat air pollution and close a competitive gap between  newer domestic automakers and their global rivals, China has set goals for electric and plug-in hybrid cars to make up at least one-fifth of auto sales by 2025.

Xin said the domestic auto industry faces "turbulent times" over the years to 2025 to make the switch toward new-energy vehicles, and he called on the country's carmakers to adapt to the challenge and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Banning the sale of gasoline- and diesel-powered cars would have a significant impact on oil demand in China, the world's second-largest oil consumer.

Last month, State-owned oil major China National Petroleum Corp said China's energy demand will peak by 2040, later than the previous forecast of 2035, as transportation fuel consumption rises through the middle of the century.

Song Qiuling, a senior finance ministry official, said during Saturday's event that government subsidies, intended for jump-starting the new-energy auto industry, could easily be abused if they are available for a long time and lead to "mindless expansion" and excess capacity in the sector, Xinhua reported.

She said China would gradually withdraw such financial subsidies for the sector, and instead speed up the establishment of a credit accumulation policy to support the industry.

Under the latest proposals, 8 percent of automakers' sales would have to be battery electric or plug-in hybrid models by next year, rising to 10 percent in 2019 and 12 percent in 2020, but the rules would not be enforced until 2019, a year later than initially planned, sources said.



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