China is trying to work against the massive decrease in air quality that has become more and more perceivable in many big cities in recent years. Like in other countries, plans are being made for a time frame for the end of the combustion engine. That is what Xin Guobin, Vice Minister of Industry of the People’s Republic of China, expressed at an automotive forum in Tianjin recently, according to Süddeutsche Zeitung.
For now there have been no official announcements as to the possible time of implementation, but comparable plans of other governments are being closely watched. To be precise, the change in question is a sales ban of automobiles with combustion engines and the corresponding promotion of automobiles with new kinds of engines, preferably electric.
Even before the implementation of the said ban, the Chinese government is expected to pursue a long planned quota for electric cars. Manufacturers will be rewarded in a scoring system, according to the environment-friendliness of their sold cars. Originally the plan was for a quota of 8% starting in 2018, then 10% and finally 12% in the year 2020, that is electric cars of the total of cars sold. So producers have to slowly switch over to the production of electric cars. But according to the newest information, the implementation of this quota is delayed for another year, according to Süddeutsche Zeitung.
There are different opinions on the true reasons behind this move. Because as Wallstreet Online mentions, more than 60% of the energy in China still comes from coal power stations, which makes the use of electric cars for improving air quality questionable. Speculations go that Chinese manufacturers would profit from the changes, since on the one hand they get subventions from the government, on the other hand they are not dealing with technological differences as big as with the combustion engines of Western countries.
But the complete transition to the use of electric cars will certainly still take a long time. Because all producers of electric cars still share the same problems: Too low range and too long charging times, as stated by the Chinese news website People.
Until these problems are finally solved, the combustion engine will probably still play a significant role and Western manufacturers can continue to export their models to China.