by Donald Kaufman | Sep 16, 2017
China, the world’s second-largest economy, plans to cut off all sales of combustion-engine automobiles. According to TechCrunch, the government is in the process of creating incentive programs for companies that make efforts to develop electric vehicles.
China is following the lead of France, which announced in July that it will end sales of fossil fuel cars by 2040.
On [Sept. 9], a Chinese official told the audience at an auto forum in Tianjin that the government is working on a timetable to end “production and sales of traditional energy vehicles,” i.e., gasoline and diesel cars, according to accounts from the Xinhua News Agency. Regulators have begun the “relevant research,” and the policy will be implemented “in the near future. …”
It’s not a concrete policy yet; we’ll have to see how it’s implemented. But for a moment, look beyond the policy to the optics. This is the world’s largest car market—responsible for around 30 percent of global passenger vehicle sales—announcing an imminent end to fossil fuel cars. That’s a big, big deal.
It is just one of many remarkable developments around EVs recently. The past year has seen trumpet blast after trumpet blast heralding the arrival of an EV revolution—sooner than most analysts expected.
How fast that revolution will unfold is the source of much dispute and uncertainty. And it matters a great deal to oil demand, electricity demand, greenhouse gas emissions, air pollution, and global trade flows.
The Vox report added that India plans to end gas and diesel car sales by 2030, while the global leader—Norway, which now has close to 40 percent of new hybrid, electric or hydrogen registered vehicles—plans to end all gas and diesel sales by 2025.
In addition to these developments, most car manufactures from around the world, including Jaguar Land Rover, have made announcements about investing in and developing hybrid and EV cars. Jaguar Land Rover even announced that all its new models from 2020 onward would be hybrid or electric.
At this point, the only car companies without major plans to overhaul are the big three U.S. carmakers: Ford, GM and Chrysler.