China is planning to implement a ban on fossil fuel cars

Photo: Ford

China is preparing to bring an end to the sale and production of fossil fuel vehicles, according to a report in Bloomberg. The country is aiming to use the ban as a way to encourage local automakers into developing electric cars.

Speaking at an auto forum on Saturday, Xin Guobin, the country’s vice minister of industry and information technology said that regulators are working to come up with a timeline for phasing out the sales and production of the vehicles.

China is the world’s largest market for automobiles, with over 28 million vehicles sold in 2016, a number that has continued to rise in recent years. Bloomberg notes that China has worked to encourage the growth of its electric-vehicle market through subsidies as it works to cut its carbon emissions.

Several other countries have announced similar intentions to ban fossil fuel-powered vehicles: France and the United Kingdom are both aiming to ban sales by 2040. Automakers are also increasingly looking towards electric vehicles: Volvo announced its intentions to produce only electric or electric-hybrids by 2019. Jaguar Land Rover plans to go all electric by 2020, while Aston Martin announced its plans to go completely hybrid by 2025.


The difference probably being that The Party has an eye on a date in mind when these vehicles will not only not be sold but not road legal. Average age of cars is over a decade today and you’d hope new cars sold in two decades would be more reliable.

I hope they are also addressing declining bike usage and making at least residential areas walkable. Mode share for cycling was 60-something percent in the mid eighties in Beijing, declined to 16% in 2010. Electric vehicles will help with the smog, but not the sprawl, which in cities of tens (in our lifetime hundreds?) of millions of people may become an intractable problem.

They do seem very serious and able when it comes to big transport projects, but getting to move less and healthier is near impossible to do in a blanket fashion.

"I hope they are also addressing declining bike usage"

Didn’t you hear?

Yes. Cycle sharing is good for mainstreaming cycling again but compared to the precipitous overall drop after the increase of motor traffic on the roads, it is small. Improving the viability of cycling overall by having strong segregated networks and giving priority to cycling in congested areas over motor vehicles will have more of an impact than technological improvements to cycling which mean you don’t have to worry about where you have to store your bike or if it will be stolen, but do not make it any easier if you have to make a long detour to avoid a car-only motorway interchange or less frightening being passed closely by an HGV or bus.

I’ve never understood some people’s problem with "sprawl".

Is it better to try and compact those millions of people into a smaller space? Personally, I don’t think so.

It’s better to let the city sprawl out, and that would allow for more green spaces inside the city, thus lowering the temperature in the city by reducing blacktop density. We’re still going to have mass transportation and electric vehicles. Combine that with the new trend toward adding trees and plants on terraces and roofs of large buildings, and I think the overall effect will be way better than just trying to cram people into a city like sardines.

I’m not an urban planner, but I believe there are multiple types of sprawl. Sub-urban sprawl is bad, because it moves people farther away from their work, resulting in longer more-expensive commutes and distance from every-day services. Very few subdivisions included planning for greenspace. The amount of pavement alone is an environmental concern.

I live in one of these suburbs (like many built after WWII for returning GI’s), and there is no down-town, no culture, and no local industries (beyond a few bars and restaurants). My commute is relatively short (40min one way by bus) to another city, but quite noticeable.

The good type of sprawl is spreading out both the people and their jobs, so they can drive a short distance (EV), with good public-transport options connecting the hubs (big city centers) to the spokes (smaller cities and towns) for shopping, events, or occasional commuting.

Even if people need to commute to the centre but have other daily resources within a 5 mile radius it could be not so bad. It is hard to make them any more than satellites though, think Paramatta in Sydney or Oakwood in San Francisco. However the building of endless ring roads in Beijing suggests this sort of diversification of movement is not a prominent strategy.

Lots of small urban centres rather than one big one, for instance the rhine-ruhr region of Germany, which has a lot of smaller cities spread out over a big region of about 10 million inhabitants. You have the benefits of a huge city but you don’t miss out on the human scale. Electric vehicles and mass transit reduce the problems of long-distance travel but I don’t think you can beat having a reasonable chunk of travel human-powered, it’s the cheapest in terms of infrastructure and it’s easy to build a city where people don’t move and then you have health problems.

Among other things the Chinese government can see this is the future of vehicles and wants to be a big part of or own that future if possible. Good for them as long as they don’t use dumping. Good for climate change as well.

As an asside unlike in the U.S., in China the government, military and industry are often financially intertwined and planning is serious. The government forecasts what they think the top industries will be in reports (not sure how far out) every so often and then guide, prod and fund industry to be there. Sometimes this includes supporting industry to sell at below market prices (dumping) to force foreign competition out of the world market (quite illegal at the WTO table but often nothing happens till its overwith…) – this is how China cornered the world market of a bunch of rare earth elements used in batteries, cell phones etc. several years ago forcing all foreign producers in the world out of the world market. I often wonder if we’re seeing the same process happen in the cell phone market these days – only the Chinese phones are sold so cheap but they’re all made in the same factories… Nice to see them moving forward on the auto end of things though.

"As an asside unlike in the U.S., in China the government, military and industry are often financially intertwined …" ???? You should know that in the US, the government, military and industry are very much financially intertwined.

not to an equivalent level.

Because the US is a democracy still where the industry obeys to regulations that are democratically determined rather than taking direct orders from the government party.

Correction: Because the US is [still] a democracy where the industry obeys regulations that are democratically determined, in so far as they doesn’t impede profits, rather than taking direct orders from the government party. Notting that the later is generally beholden to lobbyists who work for the companies that occasionally skirt regulations meant as a safeguard, and there is a government in place which can/may make regulators toothless by cutting funding.

The US is not a democracy; it’s a republic. That’s why we can have presidents who received fewer votes than their opponents in two of the last five elections. (In a democracy; the winner is the one who gets the most votes. That should be obvious.) It’s also why there’s a lot more financial ties between industry and government than there would be in an actual democracy.

Regulations are not "democratically determined".

Perhaps the political party in charge at the moment was elected, but they sure don’t let the population vote on regulations.

Where do all the batteries go and Lithium come from

Lithium ion batteries are recyclable, and there is lots of lithium in the world.

1. trunk or the hood.
2. Replicant minors on off world colonies.

Replicant minors? Is that because child size replicants would require less food and supplies?

It’s because the minors can squeeze into smaller spaces, and off-world there are no child labour laws.

Replicants only live for four years, so they’re all minors.

…they come from China? I mean the only reason China is the "factory of the world" is that it has vast natural resources that unlike Russia which has much more, China’s resources are accessible without governmental help in man power or finance.

Not looking forward to golf cart world at all

Hey, if they’re anything like the Tesla P100D, those are gonna be some fast as hell golf carts

The main reason is simply cheap labor.

Lol, China is the "factory of the world" because companies in China don’t have to make a profit. Even if they just break even, the Chinese government sends them a cheque at the end of the month to compensate them for lost profits.

They also steal a lot of their factory technology, and they pay their workers almost nothing. It has nothing to do with their resources.

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