Electric and electric hybrid cars have been making small strides in the global effort to reduce human reliance on petroleum in the last two decades. But the goal of total discontinuation of gasoline and diesel vehicles is still pretty far away for residents of the UK and France, where the gas-free goal is the year 2040, and India, where 2030 is the hopeful year when electric cars will reign supreme.
China, now the world’s largest car market, has other plans for the rise of the electric car. It would have the dawn of battery power come sooner rather than later.
Where China Goes, the Market Follows
Because China is such an enormous market for car makers, the rules it makes for itself ultimately cause a ripple effect across the rest of the globe.
In this case, it’s a mandate for an increase in electrical vehicles, including pure-electric cars, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell cars, by the year 2020. Beijing is fighting a serious air pollution problem – which China hopes will begin to improve with more zero-emissions vehicles on the road.
Technically, 2019 is the first year of implementation, but China has no intentions of issuing any punishments for companies that don’t meet the mark until late 2020, so it’s essentially a year to help both foreign and domestic automakers get accustomed to the new green vehicle production points system. Essentially, product quotas will be enforced based on credit-score systems, where car manufacturers will get points for productions of different types of zero-emissions vehicles.
American Auto Raises an Eyebrow
Big names in Western auto have a few ruffled feathers over this green initiative from China.
Because many of China’s automakers are also state-run, accusations of unfair advanced notice have been flying. Chinese car manufacturers have been nurturing zero emissions automotive technology for years, possibly in response to the notorious air pollution across the major cities in the country.
Despite the grumbling, GM expects to sell about 150,000 new energy vehicles from 10 lines across China by 2020. Ford is pursuing a joint venture with Chinese automaker Anhui Zotye Automobile Co. to get in on the NEV action with its first Chinese electric car, the Mondeo Energi plug-in hybrid.