Tianjin, China. Sept 11th. China’s Vice Minister Of Industry and Information Technology, Xin Guobin, told an industry forum in Tianjin on Saturday that China is working on a timetable to end sales of fossil-fuel-based vehicles. With China, one-third of the world’s car market, coming on board, almost 80 percent of the global auto market is now pushing toward phase-out of petroleum cars and adoption of electric vehicles.
China’s auto industry plan released in April envisages new energy vehicles, including electric and hybrids, making up all the future sales growth in the country. With conventional cars plateauing at current levels, new-energy vehicle sales will reach 7 million annually in 2025. As many as 800,000 charging stations will reportedly be built this year alone. Government mandates will require manufacturers to sell 8 percent of their vehicles with electric or hybrid powertrains from next year, or purchase credits to make up the difference, rising to 20 percent by 2025.
India, due to overtake Germany and then Japan as the world’s third-biggest auto market by 2020, is on a similar path. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s think-tank Niti Aayog aims to get electric vehicles to 44 percent of the fleet by 2030, and is aggressively favoring them with tax rates 31 percentage points below those on hybrids and internal-combustion-engine cars under its new harmonized GST sales tax.
France and the U.K., the world’s sixth- and seventh-biggest markets, are planning to phase out sales of non-electric cars by 2040, while tiny Norway aims to reach that line 10 years earlier. Neither of those targets looks especially ambitious, given the rapid drop in battery costs: In the U.S. and EU, electric cars will reach price parity with conventional vehicles in terms of purchase and running costs around the mid-2020s, according to BNEF. The International Energy Agency believes the use of oil in passenger cars has already more or less peaked, with just 7 percent of demand growth by 2040 coming from the sector.
For all the eye-catching symbolism of a ban, it’s unlikely that fossil fuel will soon be illegal on the roads. Gasoline and diesel cars will still be sold in 2040, and probably 2050 and 2100 as well. But with an increasing cost disadvantage and growing infrastructure issues, as gas stations close or go electric, internal-combustion engines will be sold only to enthusiasts like high-performance sports cars, kit cars and vintage cars are today. The conventional car isn’t quite dead yet, but its years are numbered.
There are many reasons for the growing belief that electric vehicles, EVs, represent the future of autos. First, technology costs have declined significantly, with battery costs approximately 20% of their cost five years ago. Also, further technological innovations, as well as substantial new battery capacity coming on stream in China, bode well for further price declines. Secondly, a charging infrastructure is now being put in place in China, the United States and other major countries around the world. Finally, electric vehicles have lower operating costs than internal combustion engine, ICE, vehicles, even at today’s oil prices. As technology costs drive the initial price of electric vehicles lower, price parity with ICE powered vehicles and lower operating costs will make a compelling economic case for electric vehicles.
In terms of the development of its electric vehicles, EVs, industry, China has now pulled ahead of other countries, a leadership position which it is unlikely to relinquish. In 2016, 507,000 EVs and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEVs) were sold in China, a 53% increase from 2015. Meanwhile, 222,200 EVs and PHEVs were sold in Europe, a 14% increase; and 157,130 units were sold in the United States, a 36% increase from the prior year.
Why is China leading the way in embracing electric vehicles technology? The answer may simply be that China has no other choice. As a country, China has three fundamental paths it may follow. First, it can choose to live with a rapidly growing number of ICE powered vehicles on its roads, with all that implies as far as air pollution and energy independence. Second, the government can restrict the transportation choices of its citizens in an effort to balance environmental concerns. Or third, the country can embrace EV technologies that enable its citizens to have their cars without jeopardizing air quality in its cities.
Royal Dutch Shell Executives Including CEO Switch To Electric Cars – Company Spokesman
Royal Dutch Shell CEO Ben Van Beurden will switch from a diesel car to a plug-in Mercedes-Benz S500e electric car in September, a company spokesman announced. Chief Financial Officer Jessica Uhl already drives a BMW i3 electric car.
According to CEO Ben Van Beurden:
“The whole move to electrify the economy, electrify mobility in places like northwest Europe, in the U.S., even in China, is a good thing. We need to be at a much higher degree of electric vehicle penetration — or hydrogen vehicles or gas vehicles — if we want to stay within the 2-degrees Celsius outcome.”
The U.K. announced last Monday that it will ban sales of diesel- and gasoline-fueled cars by 2040, two weeks after France announced a similar plan to reduce air pollution and meet targets to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit).
Carmaker Volvo AB said this month it will manufacture only electric or hybrid vehicles from 2019 onwards.
Changes in automotive technology, the fight against climate change and slowing economic growth in China are dampening the world’s once boundless appetite for crude. Speculation in the energy industry has shifted from so-called peak oil — the idea that consumption will keep rising until the supply of fossil fuels dries up — to peak demand, when reserves considered valuable assets today wind up being left in the ground.
Europe’s largest company, Shell has said it plans to spend as much as $1 billion a year on its New Energies division as the transition toward renewable power and electric cars accelerates. The company has said it sees opportunities in hydrogen fuel cells and next-generation biofuels for air travel, shipping and heavy freight — areas of transport for which batteries aren’t adequate.
Other big producers including Total SA and BP Plc are also diversifying.
UK To Join France In Ban On Vehicles Using Petrol (Gasoline) Or Diesel
The shift to electric vehicles is accelerating especially in Europe as the UK is set to announce a ban on new diesel and petrol cars and vans from 2040 in a bid to tackle air pollution. France Ecology Minister, Nicolas Hulot, also recently announced what he a called a “revolution” that will see France Ban the sale of any vehicles that uses petrol (gasoline) or diesel fuel by 2040.
A government spokesman said poor air quality was “the biggest environmental risk” to public health in the UK.
“This government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible,” he said.
“Our plan to deal with dirty diesels will help councils clean up emissions hotspots – often a single road – through common sense measures which do not unfairly penalise ordinary working people.”
The UK government spokesperson also said ministers will unveil a £255m fund to help councils tackle emissions from diesel vehicles, as part of a £3bn package of spending on air quality. The Uk government will later publish its clean air strategy, favouring electric cars, before a High Court deadline.
After a protracted legal battle, the government was ordered by the courts to produce new plans to tackle illegal levels of harmful pollutant nitrogen dioxide. Judges agreed with environmental campaigners that previous plans were insufficient to meet EU pollution limits.
Ministers had to set out their draft clean air strategy plans in May, with the final measures due by 31 July.
Local measures could include altering buses and other transport to make them cleaner, changing road layouts, altering features such as speed humps, and re-programming traffic lights to make vehicle-flow smoother.
It is thought ministers will consult on a scrappage scheme later this year, but there is no firm commitment.
Ministers have been wary of being seen to “punish” drivers of diesel cars, who, they argue, bought the vehicles after being encouraged to by the last Labour government because they produced lower carbon emissions.
The UK announcement comes amid signs of an accelerating shift towards electric cars instead of petrol and diesel ones, both at home and abroad:
The UK government plan will not contain a vehicle scrappage scheme, although this will be reconsidered in the autumn.
And it won’t yet mandate councils to charge dirty vehicles to enter cities, unless they fail to solve pollution by other means – such as better public transport and restrictions barring diesel vehicles at peak times. Air pollution is thought to be linked to about 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK, and transport also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
Labour said the government was only acting after being taken to court.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokeswoman Sue Hayman MP said the government had a “squeamish” attitude to clear air zones, and was shunting the problem on to local authorities.
“With nearly 40 million people living in areas with illegal levels of air pollution, action is needed now, not in 23 years’ time,” she said.
French “Revolution”: Ban On Vehicles Using Petrol (Gasoline) Or Diesel Coming – Minister
The shift to electric vehicles got a boost as France Ecology Minister, Nicolas Hulot, announced what he a called a “revolution” that will see France Ban the sale of any vehicles that uses petrol (gasoline) or diesel fuel by 2040, in what the Ecology Minister, Nicolas Hulot called a “revolution”. Nicolas Hulot said the planned ban on fossil fuel vehicles is part of a renewed commitment by France to the Paris climate deal. He said France planned to become carbon neutral by 2050.
France Ecology Minister, Nicolas Hulotn said:
“France has decided to become carbon neutral by 2050 following the US decision,” Mr Hulot said, stating that the government would have to make investments to meet that target. Poorer households will receive financial assistance to replace older, more polluting vehicles with cleaner ones,”
Hybrid cars make up about 3.5% of the French market, with pure electric vehicles accounting for just 1.2%.
It is not yet clear what will happen to existing fossil fuel vehicles still in use in 2040.
Mr Hulot, a veteran environmental campaigner, was appointed by new French President Emmanuel Macron. Mr Macron has openly criticised US environmental policy, urging Donald Trump to “make our planet great again”.
President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement in June was explicitly named as a factor in France’s new vehicle plan.
Earlier this week, car manufacturer Volvo said all of its cars would be at least partly electric from 2019, an announcement referenced by Mr Hulot.
He said he believes French car manufacturers, including brands such as Peugeot-Citreon and Renault, would meet the challenge, although he acknowledged it would be difficult. Renault’s “Zoe” electric vehicle range is one of the most popular in Europe.
Photo: Electric Car Charging
However, traditional fossil fuel vehicles account for about 95% of the European market.
Other targets set in the French environmental plan include ending coal power plants by 2022, reducing nuclear power to 50% of total output by 2025, and ending the issuance of new oil and gas exploration licences.
Several French cities struggle with high levels of air pollution, including Paris, which saw several days of peak pollution in March.
The capital has implemented a range of measures to cut down on cars, but air pollution is also a problem in picturesque mountain regions.
Last month, a woman took the French State to court over what she said was a failure to protect her health from the effects of air pollution in Paris.
Norway, which is the leader in the use of electric cars in Europe, wants to move to electric-only vehicles by 2025, as does the Netherlands. Both Germany and India have proposed similar measures with a target of 2030