In a breathtakingly decisive move against fossil fuels, a Chinese official told an audience attending an auto conference in Tianjin that “production and sales of traditional energy vehicles” — as in, those powered by gasoline and diesel — will soon be banned.
According to official state-run Xinhua News Agency cited by Vox, “Regulators have begun the ‘relevant research,’ and the policy will be implemented ‘in the near future.’
“Details are somewhat sketchy, but it appears the government plans to shift away from the massive research and consumer subsidies of recent years to something like a cap-and-trade program for fuel economy and emissions, with automakers facing rising quotas but tradable credits providing some compliance flexibility.”
Deemed the world’s second-largest economy, China incentivizes programs at various stages in the manufacture of electric vehicles to encourage innovation in that field, and is looking to create a timetable to halt combustion engine vehicle sales and production, for good.
Home to more than 1.3 billion people, the authoritarian nation’s more crowded urban areas — such as sprawling capital city, Beijing — have gained notoriety in recent years for persistent, air-clogging, health-threatening smog, both produced, compounded, and exacerbated by fossil fuel vehicles. Of course, Vox duly notes, that sizable a population makes China the largest auto market, encompassing fully 30 percent of global passenger vehicle sales.
So, although it isn’t the first to ditch diesel and gas, the action will undoubtedly ripple around the planet as a testament to the need for renewable, responsible technology to replace outdated and dirtier inventions. TechCrunch reports,
“This isn’t the first time a governing body has said it would eventually phase out the sale of traditional fuel vehicles: France said it will stop selling fossil fuel cars by 2040 in July, and the UK has committed to the same timeline for sales of those vehicles.
“Critics have suggested that a ban on fossil fuel vehicles is likely impractical, because it would stretch an already taxed supply chain, which has some hard limits in terms of the volume of lithium available for lithium-ion battery cells, for instance. But automakers are already responding to this rising trend with expanded EV model lineups and, in the case of Volvo for instance, plans to eventually sell exclusively all-electric or hybrid cars.”
Officials hope that, by setting a deadline for manufacturers and sellers of combustion-engine vehicles to adjust into the electric market, competition will amplify innovation and advancement in the field of EVs, while indisputably driving the Chinese economy.
“This will ask everyone, from energy and technology sectors as well as traditional automakers, to change to the lane to develop new powertrains,” explained Nio vice president Zhang Yang, quoted by Bloomberg. “It’s hard to say who can be the winners at the moment. All of us should stand the test of speed and endurance in this run.”
An ever-increasing number of vehicle manufacturers and forward-planning nation states look to electric and hydrogen vehicles, as well as additional options, to stem pollution and quell outraged populations sick of unnecessary and anachronistic dependence on fossil fuels.
With its own slavish devotion to Big Oil and Gas, the United States — unsurprisingly, if foolishly — is still approving construction of dangerous pipelines, rather than thrusting taxpayer dollars at programs to benefit the entire planet.
(Image via Depositphotos)