China sets target for electric car quota but delays rollout

Published: Friday, September 29, 2017 @ 1:05 AM
Updated: Friday, September 29, 2017 @ 1:03 AM


            FILE - In this April 26, 2016, file photo, a staff member stands next to an e.Cool electric SUV by Chinese automaker Changjiang on display at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing. China has stepped up pressure on automakers to accelerate development of electric cars by raising the first-year target for a planned system of production quotas but delayed its rollout until 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)
FILE - In this April 26, 2016, file photo, a staff member stands next to an e.Cool electric SUV by Chinese automaker Changjiang on display at the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition in Beijing. China has stepped up pressure on automakers to accelerate development of electric cars by raising the first-year target for a planned system of production quotas but delayed its rollout until 2019. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)

China has stepped up pressure on automakers to accelerate development of electric cars by raising the first-year target for a planned system of production quotas but delayed its rollout from next year until 2019.

China has the world's most aggressive government plans to promote electric cars. Communist leaders see them as a way to clean up China's smog-choked cities as well as a promising industry.

Electrics will have to make up at least 10 percent of each automaker's output, up from 8 percent in an earlier proposal, and those that fail to meet their targets can buy credits from competitors that do, under regulations released late Thursday by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The minimum rises to 12 percent in 2020 and the ministry will announce annual targets after that later.

The launch was postponed from next year until 2019 following warnings few automakers can get enough vehicles to market so early.

"The final rule reflects a triumph for pragmatism over dogma," because few brands "will have a serious fleet of EV offerings on sale until closer to 2019-2020," said Bernstein analysts in a report.

Beijing's support for electric vehicle sales has made China the biggest market for the technology.

Sales of electrics and gasoline-electric hybrids rose 50 percent over 2015 to 336,000 vehicles, or 40 percent of global demand. U.S. sales totaled 159,620.

The quota system will shift the financial burden to the auto industry and reduce the drain on the Chinese treasury, which has paid for research grants and subsidies to electric car developers and buyers.

China's status as the biggest auto market by number of vehicles sold gives Beijing leverage to compel global automakers to support its development plans.

Industry leaders including General Motors Co., Volkswagen AG and Nissan Motor Co. have announced they are launching or looking at joint ventures with Chinese partners to develop and manufacture electric vehicles.

Chinese automaker BYD Auto, a unit of battery maker BYD Ltd., is the world's biggest electric vehicle maker by number of units sold. It sells hybrid sedans and SUVs in China and all-electric taxis and buses in the United States, Europe and Latin America, as well as in China.

Volvo Cars, owned by China's Geely Holding Group, announced plans this year to make electric cars in China for global sale starting in 2019.

A deputy industry minister said in early September that Beijing is developing a timetable to phase out sales of traditional fuel vehicles. He gave no target date but China would join Britain and France, which plan to ban sales of gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2040 to curb pollution and carbon emissions that contribute to global warming.

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This story has been corrected to show that electric vehicles must make up at least 12 percent of each automaker's output in 2020, instead of 2010.

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VP Mike Pence ready for secret meeting with North Korea, but North backs out

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 9:05 PM

Vice President Mike Pence, and seond lady, Karen Pence are pictured just in front of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong  (back left) during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea.  
Matthias Hangst/Getty Images
Vice President Mike Pence, and seond lady, Karen Pence are pictured just in front of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong (back left) during the Opening Ceremony of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at PyeongChang Olympic Stadium on February 9, 2018 in Pyeongchang-gun, South Korea. (Matthias Hangst/Getty Images)

Vice President Mike Pence was ready for a secret meeting with North Korean officials at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, earlier this month, but the North backed out, according to news outlets.

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Pence attended the Olympics Opening Ceremony on Feb. 9 as part of a five-day trip to Asia and was seated near Kim Jong-un’s sister, but did not speak to her, creating a media sensation.

The North canceled the meeting just two hours before Pence was scheduled to meet with Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo Jong, and another North Korean state official, Kim Yong Nam, on Feb. 10 after Pence announced new sanctions against the North Korean regime during his trip and rebuked it for its nuclear program, according to the Washington Post, which was the first to report on the secret meeting.

“North Korea dangled a meeting in hopes of the vice president softening his message, which would have ceded the world stage for their propaganda during the Olympics,” the vice president’s chief of staff, Nick Ayers, said in a statement, according to The Hill.

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News of the secret meeting comes as relations between the communist north and democratic south seem to be thawing in recent weeks with the announcement last month from Kim Jong-un that he was sending a delegation to the Olympics. He sent his sister to lead the group.

North Korea Announces They Will Participate In 2018 Olympics

“We regret [the North Koreans'] failure to seize this opportunity," State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a statement. "We will not apologize for American values, for calling attention to human rights abuses, or for mourning a young American’s unjust death."

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Pence said he planned to use his trip to the Olympics to prevent North Korea from using the games as a ploy for favorable propaganda on the communist regime.

VIDEO: Kim Jong Un’s Sister Arrived in South Korea for 2018 Winter Olympics

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Parents locked 4 adopted children in separate bedrooms, restricted food, bathroom use, police say

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 2:28 AM

Parents Accused of Locking Adopted Children In Rooms, Restricting Food and Bathroom Use

An Arizona couple is facing child abuse charges after police say they locked their four adopted children in separate bedrooms, restricting access to food and bathrooms.

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Alabama police officer shot, killed; suspect dead

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 4:36 AM

Mobile Police Officer Justin Billa. (Photo credit: Mobile Police Department)
Mobile Police Department
Mobile Police Officer Justin Billa. (Photo credit: Mobile Police Department)(Mobile Police Department)

An Alabama police officer who was shot Tuesday night has died, authorities say.

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Alabama Sen. Doug Jones calls arming teachers 'the dumbest idea I've ever heard'

Published: Wednesday, February 21, 2018 @ 2:04 AM

What You Need To Know: Doug Jones

Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) called an Alabama push to arm teachers “the dumbest idea [he had] ever heard” and “crazy.”

>> 5 things to know about Doug Jones, winner of the Alabama Senate race

Alabama’s state House is considering a bill that would allow teachers to carry firearms. State Rep. Will Ainsworth – who is sponsoring the bill – introduced it during a press conference at an Alabama elementary school. Ainsworth, a Republican, said teachers carrying guns would be required to undergo 40 hours of training before being certified to carry a gun in the classroom, AL.com reports. The state won’t pay for a teacher’s gun.

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Ainsworth said the law was about giving kids “a fighting chance.”

“The only way we can do that is to have people armed in the schools to fight back,” he said.

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But to Jones, the new law doesn’t make any sense. He told WKRG: “I think that’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. I think it’s crazy. You don’t need 40 to 50 guns in there, and it’s a cost issue. You’re going to have to train those teachers. You don’t need to arm America in order to stop this; you just need to be smart about it.”

Jones was elected to the upper chamber in December after a heated race with Republican candidate Roy Moore. The former U.S. attorney has advocated for gun control in the past while simultaneously being a Second Amendment supporter. During the Senate race, the National Rifle Association spent almost $55,000 on mailers against him. He was the first Democrat elected to a Senate seat from Alabama in over two decades.

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This isn’t the first time that pro-gun politicians have suggested arming educators, but the notion is getting another push in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting that left 17 dead. A sheriff in one of Florida’s biggest counties said his department is putting together a program to train and arm teachers. Even Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has been asked about the idea, although she declined to take a stand on the issue, instead saying: “I think this is an important issue for all states to grapple with and to tackle. They clearly have the opportunity and the option to do that and there are differences in how states approach this.”

Rare reached out to Sen. Doug Jones’ office but received no comment.

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