Contributed by Ben Wilson
Although we have heard little about it, France, Britain and now China are now moving to put an end to sales of cars that use petrol and diesel, as an important means to cut back on global warming emissions.
No target dates have been set yet. But there is no doubt that this represents a significant shift in thinking.
Beijing has commenced to put pressure on car makers to do more to develop electric technology and move towards putting in place, a timetable for complete conversion of production. This will come together with banning the sale of polluting vehicles.
The news came out in a statement made by China’s industry ministry.
The reason why China is so important is that it is the world’s biggest market in term the number of vehicles sold.
Deputy minister Xin Guobin said that the ministry has begun “research on formulating a timetable to stop production and sales of traditional energy vehicles,” he told the Xinhua News Agency and newspaper the People’s Daily.
To date, the Chinese government has supported the development of electric cars with billions of dollars in research subsidies and provided incentives to buyers to purchase cleaner cars. However, the financial burden is going to be increasingly shifted to the car making companies.
By next year, hybrid vehicles will have to make up 8 percent of each manufacturer’s total coming off the assembly lines and rise, up to 12 percent by 2020. Sales of new hybrids are steadily climbing and make up 40 percent of global sales.
I China, state owned companies have been instructed to speed up the building of a national network of charging stations, to make the use of electric cars more attractive.
Chinese automaker BYD Auto, a unit of battery maker BYD Ltd, in a 50-50 partnership with Germany’s Daimler, is the world’s biggest electric car maker, developing major markets in the United states, Europe and Latin America.
Meanwhile, Britain and France announced in July that they will stop selling petrol and diesel by 2040, as part of their own effort.
It shows how far behind Australia is.