Automakers, or any other company for that matter, tend to listen when their largest market starts talking. In this case, it is China that had announced its demands as it aims to quickly facilitate the shift to electric-powered vehicles and other forms of alternative energy. China is urging manufacturers to make this possible. To be more specific, the Chinese government recently set out some rules and a credit system that covers how automakers sell their plug-in hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell, and fully electric cars. In other words, these automakers will have to meet these standards in China or risk penalties. If car manufacturers do not meet the requirements, then they will have to use credits or pay a fine. The bottom line is that if they do not shift to alternative energy, they will have to waste extra money.
So beginning in 2019, a minimum energy score of 10 percent must be met by automakers. And by 2020, this will increase to 12 percent. This score will rely on sales of plug-in hybrid, hydrogen fuel cell, and fully-electric cars. Credits are earned in the process.
Right now, it might still be a bit confusing because credits for low or zero emission vehicles can differ from one another. To avoid losing credits or getting fined, car makers who build or import at least 30,000 cars to China should start getting into greener options, and dedicate most of their efforts on those. Currently, not many of them have reached fuel-cell levels, so this means the focus is on electric power.
To date, automakers like BMW and Volkswagen are amenable to China’s mandate, according to Bloomberg. But companies that are not up to that level yet, such as Ford, have begun to partner with more advanced firms to help boost electric development. To give manufacturers time to prepare for this, China delayed the implementation of the rules to 2019, when originally, it was supposed to be implemented as soon as next year.
It is not just China that is looking into eliminating the sale of vehicles with internal combustion engines in the next couple of years. It has also become the goal in several other countries in Europe including France, The Netherlands, and Germany.
By 2030, China aims to have 40 percent of all sales to be of the environmentally friendly kind. Having said all that, we won’t be surprised if most automakers begin majorly investing in the development of building greener vehicles, because this will be the future of the industry anyway. It’s all just a matter of time.