China upholds stringent electrical car sales quotas despite industry protests, Reuters

China upholds rigorous electrified car sales quotas despite industry protests

BEIJING (Reuters) – China upheld stringent sales quotas for electrically powered vehicles in a draft regulation issued on Tuesday, disregarding concessions agreed inbetween Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and German Chancellor Angela Merkel earlier this month.

The draft, posted on the website of the Legislative Affairs Office for China`s cabinet, maintains that automakers must sell enough electrified or plug-in hybrid vehicles to generate «credits» equivalent to eight percent of sales by 2018, ten percent by two thousand nineteen and twelve percent by two thousand twenty – criteria many in the industry deem too ambitious.

The number of credits per car is based on the level of electrification.

Merkel and Li did not give specifics on June one when stating that China would make concessions on the quotas, but industry sources told Reuters the two leaders had agreed to delay the eight percent requirement to two thousand nineteen and permit automakers that missed the quota in early years to make up for it later on.

The latest draft by China`s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, open for public comment until June 27, is largely unchanged from one issued in September, with no switch to the timings.

Dominik Declercq, China representative for the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, said the fresh draft indicated China had not switched its stance on the policy.

«That`s what it looks like: no compromise, no concession,» Declercq told Reuters.

German Ambassador to China Michael Clauss said: «It seems that the political leadership has understood that this is a problem but there seems to be a disconnect inbetween them and the working level at MIIT.»

China has been pushing to get more electrified vehicles on its roads as soon as possible in order to fight urban air pollution but automakers and industry figures have said the targets are too raunchy, while German policymakers say they fear they are part of a Chinese strategy to help domestic carmakers overtake global rivals in developing ‘green` vehicles.

The quotas would come on top of stricter fuel economy requirements that are set to step by step become among the world`s hardest by 2020.

The quota proposals had met with requests by carmakers such as Volkswagen AG ( VOWG_p.DE ) to be given more time to meet them, albeit VW`s management has said it is ready to obey with the two thousand eighteen quota if the government insisted.

Reporting by Michael Martina and Norihiko Shirouzu; Writing by Jake Spring; Editing by Greg Mahlich

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