China weighs ban on vehicles using fossil fuels
Source: http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/2017-09/12/content_31889278.htm. Updated: 12 September, 2017
With China announcing a plan to eventually end the production and sale of vehicles powered entirely by fossil fuels, domestic and foreign-owned automakers are expected to be even more aggressive in developing electric and alternative vehicles for the world's largest car market.
The Xinhua news agency on Sept 9 cited China's vice-minister of industry as saying that China is studying when to ban the production and sale of cars that use only traditional fuels. Xin Guobin didn't release a specific date when such a ban would occur, Xinhua reported.
In April, General Motors Co said it would launch 10 electric and gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles in China by 2020. Last month, GM introduced the two-seat E100 comes from GM's Chinese joint-venture brand, Baojun, and costs around $5,300. It has a range of 96 miles per charge and a top speed of 62 mph.
Ford Motor Company said last month that it was exploring a joint venture with electric car maker Anhui Zotye Automobile Co to build a new brand under which the electric vehicles will be sold. Both firms will hold a 50-50 stake in the JV, it said
Other auto producers like Tesla Inc, Volkswagen AG, Honda and Nissan Motor Co also have announced aggressive plans to make and sell electric vehicles in China.
Among domestic manufacturers, Warren Buffett-backed BYD led in sales in the first seven months of this year, delivering 46,855 electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, according to the China Passenger Car Association.
"Chinese authorities are looking to fast track new energy vehicle (NEV) sales, but despite subsidies the growth in volume in the NEV segment amounts to just around 1.8 percent of the total vehicle market in China so far this year. The authorities are beginning to look for tougher and more stringent ways to strengthen the NEV segment," wrote Namrita Chow, principal automotive analyst of IHS Markit in an email.
Noting the lack of a specific timetable for the elimination of fossil-fuel powered vehicles, Chow said "at this point in time it is just rhetoric regarding the complete ban of (internal combustion engine) vehicles in China, there is no time line and no policy implying this is at all imminent."
Arthur Wheaton, an automotive expert with Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations, said that because the Chinese auto market is the largest in the world, all global auto companies will attempt to meet whatever policies are in place to continue in the market.
"The policy of outlawing all internal combustion engines for sale in China would be extremely challenging," he said in an email.
SAIC, BAIC, Geely, Changan are among the Chinese auto companies that could capitalize if the ban is implemented said Wheaton.
Those companies and others have significant partnerships with global manufacturers and their joint-ventures would be crucial to ramping up capacity to meet the needs, he added.
Wheaton doesn't anticipate a ban happening soon.
"I am pessimistic this policy will be implemented fully for decades. I think the phasing in of increasing (the) number of electric vehicles is more likely and the slower pace would help Chinese auto makers build expertise to meet the demand gradually with help from their joint-venture partners," said Wheaton.
eu is a desperate energy junkie
Energy can be a dirty business. But when you import more than half your supplies every year, sometimes you just have to get a deal done.
The European Union is addicted to energy imports. Its dependence was brutally exposed whenever Russia turned off the taps. These crises gave impetus to the bloc’sEnergy Union plan.
About 30% of Europe’s gas comes from Russia and the bloc imports 53% of its energy every year at a cost of more than €1 billion a day.
One major aim of the Energy Union strategy is to diversify energy suppliers in a bid to lessen the reliance on Russian gas and Middle Eastern oil.
This means making friends with governments every bit as authoritarian as that ruled by Russia’s Vladimir Putin. Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan, Libya, Iraq and Iran have been earmarkedas potential suppliers.
Energy and realpolitik go hand in hand. Many governments deal with Saudi Arabia, despite it regularly being branded the worst of the worst in surveys of political rights.
In April 2016, no fewer than eight Commissioners travelled to Iran in a visit to bolster energy ties, even though member states had extended sanctions against Tehran forhuman rights abuses.
Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker met Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in Brussels today.
The pow-wow was criticised by no fewer than 76 NGOs. They urged Juncker to use the visit to raise Baku’s recordon human rights. Azerbaijan defends itself robustlyfrom such accusations.
Asked today whether energy supplies or human rights would be prioritised in the Brussels-Baku partnership, the Commission saidboth were “important”.
Last week, it said that Juncker wasnot “terribly reserved”when talking to his partners, hinting the Luxembourger could take Aliyev to task.
Juncker even joked to the press, “I’m going to meet the president of Azerbaijan now so the pleasant part of theday is over.”
We may never know what happens behind closed doors. Perhaps wary of difficult questions, the Commission had no plans to hold a press conference with the two presidents.
European Council President Donald Tusk also met with Aliyev. He said they discussed human rights and the importance offreedom of expression. They also discussed the Southern Gas Corridor pipeline.
“Azerbaijan is important for Europe’s energy security and diversification of supplies,” Tusk said.
The EU is an energy junkie. It can only get clean through far greater energy efficiency and domestic renewables.
That is a long way off and policymakers have picked gas as their lower carbon “bridge fuel” to a greener future.
No strongman leader worth his salt will take high falutin’ human rights talk seriously. Not when it comes from an addict who needs his fix.
British Prime Minister Theresa May should insist that Brexit negotiations are heldin “neutral Switzerland”, rather than Brussels, according to Kate Hoey MP. She is a Brexit-supporting member of the opposition Labour party. The Commission managed (just) to keep a straight face and said it wouldinform Michel Barnier.
Nigel Farage is sharing a £4 million London flat with a French politician. His current wife confirmed they have been “living separate lives” for years.
The European Parliament has scolded the UK tabloid press for bad reporting on Brussels’ alleged demand that sports teams and venues display the Union flag. The Parliament pointed out that the EU has no say on sport policy and accused the papers of “scoring an own goal”.
Hawkish German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble said he doesn’t think the UK should be punished during the Brexit negotiations and suggested that the best way to deal with Donald Trump is to watch Angela Merkel and copy her “calm” approach.
A new report has warned that development aid is being siphoned offto house refugeesin the EU. The Commission today published a report on the implementation of environmental lawacross the bloc.
The pressure finally took its toll in Romania. The government withdrew a hugely controversial decree that drew a reported 200,000 people onto the streets of Bucharest. A new bill will be published soon.
Despite not thinking much of it, Donald Trump is going to meet with NATO leaders in May. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has told bitter rivals Kosovo and Serbia to “calm down”.
One Polish MP thinks that it is “just a matter of time” before Trump lifts sanctions against Russia, which will worsen relations between Warsaw and Moscow.
France’s presidential race heated up nicely over the weekend, with Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen both choosing Lyon to launch their campaigns.
Beleaguered Republican candidate François Fillon’s days as his party’s candidate might be over soon, but who would they replace him with?
Most French citizens (80%) told pollsters that they would vote for “a leader that is prepared to change the rules of the game”.