Traffic congestion also has to be addressed in tackling smog

Traffic congestion also has to be addressed in tackling smog

An increasingly powerful younger Chinese generation could be starting to echo its European and North American counterparts in demanding tougher environmental standards for industry, says component manufacturer, Faurecia.

As an indicator of how serious the problem is, some have described city pollution as resembling a "nuclear winter," while the blue skies enjoyed over Beijing at the recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit as a result of strict pollution controls, have now reportedly disappeared.

OEMs are due to introduce Euro V standards from early next year, in a bid to address peak CO2 levels, which are expected between 2020 and 2025 and as the Chinese economy continues to grow.

Faurecia is focusing on the twin approaches of emissions control and lightweighting in order to help counter the levels of pollution, but infrastructure issues such as traffic gridlock in major cities also need to be addressed.

"China is facing a big issue of air pollution, especially in Beijing and Shanghai," Faurecia deputy general manager China Division, Jingcheng Li, told just-auto from Shanghai. "The Chinese consumer might not be as sensitive as American people [for example] for the moment, but this will be changed in a way because the most population live in big cities.

"They are suffering with the air pollution issue and today we see there is a pretty high development with small cars in China.

"With the new generation of Chinese population, they might be going towards European or American [environmental] trends. We start today some activities together with some government institutions and there is a lot of debate on Euro IV or the equivalent of Euro VI.

"From Faurecia, a least in China, we participate and give our opinion as we have a lot of technological solutions. We start to be more active in this domain."

Reports suggest factories around Beijing were shut for the duration of the summit, while car use was drastically curbed, leading to what residents apparently dubbed 'APEC blue' skies.