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March 14, 2017

China ‘rethinks’ ambitious EV targets

Beijing may be about to 'rethink' and lower its ambitious targets for electric vehicle targets amid signs that volumes are likely to undershoot.

Beijing may be about to ‘rethink’ and lower its ambitious targets for electric vehicle targets amid signs that volumes are likely to undershoot.

The China Daily reports that the government is considering dialing back or delaying proposed measures aimed at pushing automakers to produce more electric vehicles, ‘after industry feedback that the targets are overly ambitious’.

The newspaper reported that under draft rules released in September for public consultation, automakers will be required to obtain a new energy vehicle credit score of 8% next year, derived from different weightings assigned to various types of zero and low-emission vehicles. Companies that fail to meet the requirement face fines or have to buy credits from those that exceeded the minimum.

The report said that average production of new energy vehicles last year may have contributed only about 3% of the score required, 5 percentage points short of the proposed 2018 target; the report cited the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).

The China Daily also said that German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel told German media in November that he expressed the view to his Chinese counterpart that the 2018 targets were not attainable.

The report added that Miao Wei, China’s minister of industry and information technology, has said this month that his ministry was considering either lowering the credit requirement in percentage terms – or delaying the implementation date.

“We are still working on the regulation,” Miao said on the sidelines of the opening of the annual session of the National People’s Congress. “It may be finalised around May or June.”

The China Daily reported that electric vehicle sales plunged in China in January after the government cut subsidies by more than a fifth starting this year.

Sales of new energy vehicles, the term China uses to refer to battery-powered vehicles, plug-in hybrids and fuel-cell cars, dropped 74% in January from a year earlier to 5,682 units, according to data released by the CAAM.

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