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Chinese Automakers Push Back on EV Quotas

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China has been in something of an environmentally-minded craze of late, led by rising outrage over the country’s outrageous air pollution, which like in other highly-populated areas was much worse over the past two years than before. As a result, the Chinese government decided that it would implement a draft policy inspired by California’s zero-emissions vehicle quotas.

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Of course, this being China, they decided they were going to do it bigger, with current quotas setting a target of 8% of all vehicle sales being electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2017 (currently, California’s zero-emissions sales hover somewhere around 3%). If achieved, this would rocket China’s automakers ahead of all others in “new energy” vehicles.

However, that aggressive quota is not popular with one group: Chinese automakers. These companies and other industry bodies protested that the targets are too aggressive, and could end up simply hurting their interests. So, they proposed changes to the draft policy, which would lower targets or simply push them back a year or two.

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This comes amidst the Chinese government scaling back subsidies for electric vehicles, which were very strong before to attract electric automakers to the market. China cut these subsidies by 20% this year, with plans to eliminate them completely by 2020. They are to be replaced by the sort of quotas being discussed in this draft policy, or by credit trading systems such as those used in California.

News Sources: Reuters, Fortune