Date
20 July 2017
Electric cars are seen at a parking lot of an automobile factory in Xingtai in Hebei province. Foreign automakers have complained against key elements of China's new energy vehicles policy. Photo: Reuters
Electric cars are seen at a parking lot of an automobile factory in Xingtai in Hebei province. Foreign automakers have complained against key elements of China's new energy vehicles policy. Photo: Reuters

Foreign automakers urge China to ease electric car quotas

Global automakers called on China to delay and soften planned quotas for sales of electric and hybrid cars, Reuters reports.

In a letter to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the automakers complained that Beijing’s current proposals are impossible to meet and would cause big disruption to their businesses, the report said.

“The proposed rules’ ambitious enforcement date is not possible to meet, and if unchanged would lead to a widespread disruption of the product portfolio of most automakers operating in China,” the automakers were quoted as saying in the letter.

“At a minimum, the mandate needs to be delayed a year and include additional flexibilities.” 

The letter, dated June 18, was signed by the American Automotive Policy Council, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association and the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association.

It amounts to a protest against key elements of China’s new energy vehicles (NEVs) policy, which includes a goal for hybrid and electric cars to make up at least a fifth of Chinese vehicle sales by 2025, with a staggered system of quotas beginning in 2018.

The foreign automakers requested a delay in implementing the quotas and for China to reconsider some of the penalties for not reaching them, such as plans to ban carmakers from importing and producing non-NEV vehicles altogether, the report said.

They also called for equal treatment of Chinese and foreign makers. Currently foreign carmakers are excluded from getting full subsidies for NEVs and batteries.

“This preference for domestic automakers over import automakers undermines the environmental goals of the regulation, puts imports at a competitive disadvantage, and risks opening China up to international trade disputes,” the letter said.

“Because we have common concerns with the proposed NEV rules, we have joined together to offer, with utmost respect, six recommended modifications that address those concerns while still meeting the goals of those rules and other related policies,” said the letter, addressed to minister Miao Wei.

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