China Backing Off Tough Electric Car Sales Mandate

China will be reducing its strict mandate for selling plug-in electrified vehicles in that market.

Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche said on Friday that the mandate will be softening, coming from talks in Berlin prior to a Germany-China summit held this week.

While several global automakers have big plans for selling PEVs in China, they would like to see the government back off its proposed policy mandate that 8 percent of new vehicle sales be all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles by 2018.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel met on Thursday with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to discuss the issue. The Chinese premier said a “solution” for implementing the quotas had been found.

Automakers were pleased with the results.

“What we talked about was the timeline, the pace of this transition. I think we reached a result which is satisfactory for everybody,” Zetsche told Reuters.

The Daimler chief said he couldn’t provide details on the settlement since Chinese and German officials had not revealed that information.

Sales figures report that more than 28 million new vehicles were sold in China last year. About 351,000 were PEVs, making for only 1.25 percent of the total.

German automakers, and a few others, see China as being central to future vehicle sales, especially PEVs. The Chinese government is examining its policies and incentives, including adopting California’s zero emission vehicle guidelines and deciding on the future of its “new energy vehicle” subsidies.

Government officials have been upset with vehicle manufacturers, and have issued fines, for making bloated claims on production and sales of electric cars, trucks, and buses in China.

Daimler and Volkswagen have shown how seriously they’re taking China’s new energy vehicle market.

Daimler will be collaborating with longtime partner BAIC Group. The German automaker announced this week it will be investing in an electric vehicle subsidiary, and both companies will be upgrading a current plant to jointly manufacture plug-in electrified vehicles.

The new JV announcement kept quiet on the question of whether any of these PEVs will be built on the EQ platform.

Volkswagen and Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC Motors) last month were granted approval to jointly build plug-in vehicles in China. The joint venture’s approval is to locally manufacture 100,000 battery electric vehicles.

Volkswagen plans to sell 1.5 million units of zero-emission or plug-in cars in China by 2025 with most of them being locally produced.

General Motors plans to sell 150,000 electrified vehicles in the same time frame. More than 10 will be launched before the end of this decade.

“During the next five years, GM and its joint ventures will roll out more than 10 new energy vehicles under the Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac and Baojun brands,” General Motors said in a statement last year.

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German newspaper Handelsblatt reported that China had agreed to delay the introduction of the rule by a year. Automakers will be allowed to make up for inadequate PEV volumes later.

Chinese government officials aim to use the targets and other incentives to counter pollution and harmful greenhouse emissions in the world’s highest sales volume light-vehicle market.

California governor Jerry Brown is visiting China over the next week to encourage adoption of the state’s zero emission vehicle policy.

Automotive News

 

 


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