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China to Gas, Diesel Cars: You’re Not Welcome Here

The world’s largest car market says it will ban production and sale of vehicles powered by diesel and gasoline in the near future.
September 13, 2017

​BEIJING – China’s automotive market—the world’s largest—will have only electric models in the near future, as the government starts investigating a ban on diesel and gasoline vehicles, the BBC reports. Xin Guobin, China’s vice minister of industry, said the government had begun “relevant research” into a ban. “Those measures will certainly bring profound changes for our car industry's development,” he said.

Last year, China produced 28 million cars, nearly a third of the total worldwide. Already France and the United Kingdom said they would prohibit new gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040 in efforts to curb pollution and carbon emissions. In July, Volvo said all new car models would have an electric engine starting in 2019. Geely, the Chinese owner of Volvo, wants to sell a million electric cars by 2024.

China would like to have sales plug-in hybrids and electric cars as one-fifth of all vehicles sales by the quarter century. The government’s proposals would mandate that 8% of auto sales be for battery electric or plug-in hybrid by 2018, jumping to 12% by the end of the decade. The measures come ahead of new rules to slash pollution.

Meanwhile, American states are considering whether utility companies should build charging stations for electric cars, Stateline/The Pew Charitable Trusts reports. More electric charging stations would help eliminate “range anxiety” for drivers and could help boost sales of electric and plug-in hybrids, but some officials worry that utility companies would make all customers pay for a service only used by an elite few.

California has already approved three utilities to build more than 12,500 charging stations, but recently Kansas, Michigan and Missouri all refused requests from utilities to build such stations with customers’ money. “Let the private sector invest in the EV market, rather than have ratepayers finance the speculative venture,” said the Kansas Corporation Commission.