China should adopt a plan that will see electric vehicles make up a quarter of all autos sold in the country in six years’ time, the industry ministry said Tuesday, as the sector struggles with falling sales.
A draft blueprint for the development of the “new energy vehicle” sector — which includes hybrids and fully-electric vehicles — comes after the government withdrew subsidies for carmakers earlier this year.
China is the world’s largest new energy vehicle market, but sales of electric motors plummeted 34 percent on-year in September, according to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology’s draft proposal said China should seek to ensure one in four of all vehicles sold in 2025 were either hybrids or fully-electric vehicles.
The measures are partly to ensure the country meets its air pollution targets, and to reduce Beijing’s dependence on imported oil.
China would also continue to develop electric vehicle battery technologies, improve infrastructure for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and driverless cars, it said.
The draft proposal, which includes guidelines for the development of the new energy vehicle sector from 2021 to 2035, is open for public feedback until December 9.
A previous state target set in 2017 had called for 20 percent of cars sold to be electric vehicles by 2020, but the draft released Tuesday gave no indication whether China was on track to meet that goal.
Fuelled by rising incomes and government sales incentives, China is the golden goose upon which the global automotive industry has staked its future.
But after years of strong growth, car sales fell last year for the first time since the 1990s, hit by a slowing economy, US trade tensions and a Chinese crackdown on shady credit practices that has crimped car-financing channels.
Passenger vehicles sales in China have now fallen for 15 consecutive months, according to the CAAM.
The government had earlier said it was planning to impose quotas requiring carmakers to maintain a certain percentage of new energy vehicles in their Chinese production.
German car giant Volkswagen said Friday it would plough 60 billion euros ($66 billion) by 2024 into its switch to electric, hybrid and connected vehicles, as automakers around the world rev up electrification plans.
The sum is an increase of 16 billion euros over previously-announced investments.
In a plan approved by its supervisory board, VW also said it would introduce up to 75 all-electric models and around 60 hybrid vehicles over the next decade, compared with a total of 70 across both types that were already planned.
VW is “focusing our investments on the future of mobility,” chairman Dieter Poetsch said in a statement.
“Without electric mobility, we won’t be able to win the battle against climate change,” added chief executive Herbert Diess.
The group said it was planning to sell 26 million all-electric vehicles by 2029 as well as around six million hybrid vehicles by that time, hoping they will help hit new European carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions targets.
On top of that should come around six million hybrids.
From next year, carmakers must achieve average carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions of 95 grammes per kilometre across newly-sold vehicles in the European Union, on pain of hefty fines.
“We will meet the strictest European limits from 2020,” Diess said.
VW has made a bigger bet than competitors on all-electric cars, designing a battery-powered platform known as “MEB” that will form the basis for a whole range of vehicles, beginning with the mass-market “ID.3”.
Of the 29 million electric vehicle sales VW is targeting over the coming decade, 20 million will be from MEB-based vehicles.
VW’s strategy apes Californian electric pioneer Tesla, which announced this week it plans its first European factory for a site just outside Berlin.
At other traditional manufacturers, platforms — which include the chassis and various invisible components that are shared across different models — are set to remain flexible for different fuel options.
Meanwhile, VW will have to spend big to transform existing factories to produce electric cars — five in Germany, one in the US, one in the Czech Republic and two in China.
The group’s electric push was given fresh momentum as it attempted to turn the page on its “dieselgate” scandal, which cost it dear in both cash and reputational harm.
Legal cases grind on over VW’s admission four years ago that it illegally fitted 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide with software to make them appear less polluting.
On top of the electric push, CEO Diess said that “in light of the worsening economic situation, we are also working on increasing our productivity, our efficiency and our cost base so as to secure meeting our targets.”
VW last month said it was confident of hitting financial targets despite a lower unit sales outlook, warning that “vehicle markets will contract faster than previously anticipated in many regions”.
A global growth slowdown triggered by trade wars and Brexit uncertainty has hit the car industry particularly hard, as have the mammoth costs associated with switching to electric car production.
In recent months, the company has announced between 5,000 and 7,000 job cuts at the VW brand alone.
Meanwhile, bosses also turned their attention Friday to struggling high-end subsidiary Audi, which reported falling sales, revenues and operating profits over the first nine months of 2019.
From April, former BMW purchasing chief and engineer Markus Duesmann will head the manufacturer with the four-ring logo, also joining the group-wide executive board.
Audi suffered more than other German manufacturers from the introduction last year of the new WLTP emissions testing standards in the European Union, which created bottlenecks in production.
It has also ramped up spending on new technologies, including battery-electric and hybrid vehicles, connectivity and autonomous driving.
A Federal lawmaker, Senator Ben Bruce has insisted that Nigeria cannot run away from the revolution of electric cars.
The lawmaker who spoke to journalists at the National Assembly on Thursday, a day after the Senate rejected his bill to phase out fuel powered cars and introduce electric cars, said the rejection didn’t come as a surprise to him
Senator Bruce explained that the bill was only to ensure that Nigeria is not left behind in the revolution of electric cars, despite being an oil-producing country.
“I presented two historic bills on the floor of the senate and both were rejected. they would be rejected so I was not surprise. I knew because I did not think my colleagues understood the value of what I was presenting.
“The reason I presented the bill is because in a few years’ time, no country in the world will manufacture these cars anymore. For this reason, Nigeria must be prepared and understand that the cars we drive today are dinosaurs.”
Senator Ben Murray-Bruce, the lawmaker representing Bayelsa East, has said that there is a problem with the amount allocated to the education of Nigerian youths and children.
Ben Murray-Bruce On Wednesday in a series of tweets not unconnected to the issue of poor education funding in the country, noted the defence and security budget of Nigeria is 3 times the education & youth development budget.
Murray-Bruce argued that the reason we are arming our soldiers to kill is that the nation is not equipping the youths with the required skills to make a positive impact.
To drive home his point, the lawmaker tweeted:
We budget ₦462 billion for education and ₦1.3 trillion for security. We have 65 million youths and children and we are spending ₦462 billion to educate them. We have less than 100,000 terrorists and we are spending over ₦500 billion to fight them. Do you now see the problem?
The defence and security budget of Nigeria is 3 times the education & youth development budget. By now, the penny should have dropped. The reason we are arming our soldiers to kill is because we are not arming our youths with skills. Education is the BEST way to fight insecurity.
Unless we arrest the decay in our education system, we will keep on arresting our youths for crime and insecurity. The human mind is a terrible thing to waste and Nigeria has a gold medal in wasting minds, both by killing education and killing criminals.
California Governor Jerry Brown Friday signed an executive order detailing aims to have five million electric cars on the state’s roads by 2030 — by accelerating the production of such vehicles using financial incentives and rebates.
The $2.5 billion, eight-year plan also involves the installation of 250,000 electric vehicle charging stations and 200 hydrogen fueling stations by 2025.
“To continue to meet California’s climate goals and clean air standards, California must go even further to accelerate the market for zero-emission vehicles,” the governor’s office said in a statement.
The order aims to “dramatically reduce carbon emissions from transportation — a sector that accounts for 50 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and 80 percent of smog-forming pollutants,” it added.
The previous target, from 2012, aimed to get 1.5 million “green” vehicles on the roads of the most populated US state — which boasts the biggest automobile market, with around 14.5 million vehicles for 40 million people.
California, where the number of zero-emissions vehicles has risen by 1,300 percent in six years according to the order, will need to maintain similarly exponential growth to meet its latest goal.
Currently, eco-friendly vehicle sales represent five percent of sales in the state.
Two years ago, California also adopted a goal of cutting CO2 emissions to 40 percent below the 1990 level by 2030.
The “Golden State,” a leading force in the fight against climate change in the US, also aims to obtain half of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
The order also includes a $1.25 billion investment in California’s own carbon market.