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China Transportation Businesses Power Technology

Automakers Are Asking China To Slow Down Electric Car Quotas (electrek.co) 304

New submitter Kant shares a report from Electrek: The auto industry is once again attempting to slow down the rollout of electric vehicles. Virtually all automakers, except for Tesla of course, have sent a letter to the Chinese government in an attempt to have them drastically weaken their zero-emission vehicle mandate. As we previously reported, China, the world's biggest car market, has somewhat of an aggressive ZEV mandate that would force automakers to have zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) represent 8% of new car sales as soon as 2018 and quickly ramp up to 12% by 2020. Now Germany's WirtschaftsWoche magazine (via Auto News) reports that the American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC), which represents Chrysler/Fiat, Ford, and GM, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), which represents all major European automakers, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) and the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA), have all sent a joint letter to China's Minister of Industry and Information Technology to ask for several significant changes to the mandate.

The "six recommended modifications" include slowing the rollout of the mandate by 1 to 3 years, reconsidering the penalty system if they don't meet the quota, having credits not only for all-electric cars but also plug-in hybrid cars, and basically making the whole mandate weaker so that they don't have to produce as many electric cars.

Automakers Are Asking China To Slow Down Electric Car Quotas

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    • by David_Hart ( 1184661 ) on Friday July 14, 2017 @04:20AM (#54806831)

      n/t

      Lots of typical knee-jerk reactions to this story. Most automakers do not have EV and car battery manufacturing facilities in China and China has reduced or removed subsidies making imports much less attractive. It seems, after a bit of quick basic research, that the slowdown request is to allow non-chinese car companies time to be able to ramp up the ability to product EVs on a large scale in China. It's not a plot to stay on old tech or to derail EV cars.

      https://electrek.co/2017/05/08... [electrek.co]
      http://insights.globalspec.com... [globalspec.com]
      https://electrek.co/2017/04/27... [electrek.co]
      https://cleantechnica.com/2017... [cleantechnica.com]

      Likely Tesla hasn't complained because they are wrapping up their first manufacturing partnership in China and probably expect to be able to meet sales requirements.

      http://fortune.com/2017/06/19/... [fortune.com]

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        At this point, you'd have to be a complete moron to be leading a car company and be against rolling out electric engines.

        They're just ENGINES. Just ONE component of the entire car. That'd be like advocating to ban automatic transmissions because you make 5-speeds. The consumers are moving toward electric. Consumers are moving toward reduced pollution.

        Make a product your consumer wants.

        Rocket science!

        • Consumers also want rockets, but they need to be affordable and competitive with alternative forms of transport already available.

        • The issue is not with having electrict cars or building them, but specifically having to build them in China.

        • "listen, it's too bad you can't breath the air, but we've got to protect our profits or the shareholders will revolt"
        • They're just ENGINES. Just ONE component of the entire car. That'd be like advocating to ban automatic transmissions because you make 5-speeds. The consumers are moving toward electric. Consumers are moving toward reduced pollution.

          It's about sales longterm.
          Electrical engines will dramatically increase the lifespan of a car.
          Automobile industry will shrink enormously due to electrical, because there's far less maintenance, far less aftermarket (oils, gearings).
          I remember decades ago a friend's father Me

          • That's the first I've heard of Mercedes and parts being too reliable. He probably went out of business because most people will find its just cheaper to buy a new Benz than to start getting one repaired because that's a damned money pit.
          • They're just ENGINES. Just ONE component of the entire car. That'd be like advocating to ban automatic transmissions because you make 5-speeds. The consumers are moving toward electric. Consumers are moving toward reduced pollution.

            It's about sales longterm. Electrical engines will dramatically increase the lifespan of a car.

            Still, business lessons of the recent years are that you should try and cannibalize your own market, because if you don't, somebody else will.

        • They're just ENGINES. Just ONE component of the entire car.

          That's an incredibly naive view. Sorry to be harsh, but you come off sounding like an expert and I don't think people should consider you one. The drivetrain is what the entire car is designed around, and the attributes (shape, weight, etc) of the drivetrain are driven by the engine technology. Toyota has been making the Camry since the early 80s, with incremental improvements over 35 years. An electric version would need to be a ground-up redesign. From a manufacturing standpoint, it would be no big deal.

        • by thomn8r ( 635504 )

          At this point, you'd have to be a complete moron to be leading a car company and be against rolling out electric engines.

          s/engines/motors/gi

        • by cellocgw ( 617879 ) <cellocgw@nOSPaM.gmail.com> on Friday July 14, 2017 @12:04PM (#54809143) Journal

          At this point, you'd have to be a complete moron to be leading a car company and be against rolling out electric engines.

          They're just ENGINES. Just ONE component of the entire car.

          First of all, they are not engines. They are motors. Second, the switch to an electric motor immediately implies other major design changes. No more need for a gearbox, distributor, alternator, CCV, muffler, tailpipe,... . New need for massive battery, power management system, charging control system, ...

        • by sl3xd ( 111641 )

          They're just ENGINES. Just ONE component of the entire car. That'd be like advocating to ban automatic transmissions because you make 5-speeds.

          There's a lot more than just the engine - in general, there isn't a transmission that shifts gears (just differentials), obviously there's no fuel tank, exhaust, and other parts.

          Here's the thing: Many of the systems which have been removed (engine, shifting transmission) are the ones which require the most maintenance and repair. Many manufacturers (especially European ones) require exclusive brand (and model) specific tools to work on the cars in the first place -- the whole point being to drive customers

      • It seems that the slowdown request is to allow non-chinese car companies time ... not a plot to stay on old tech or to derail EV cars

        Oh, that's perfectly OK then.

        The dinosaurs telling the mammals what to do.

      • Likely Tesla hasn't complained because they are wrapping up their first manufacturing partnership in China and probably expect to be able to meet sales requirements.

        http://fortune.com/2017/06/19/... [fortune.com]

        maybe Tesla didn't complain because they will exceed the 8% quota by about 92%?

  • Good (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bandraginus ( 901166 ) on Friday July 14, 2017 @03:05AM (#54806621) Homepage

    I think that China is holding all the aces here, right? Doesn't hurt China if the world's car manufacturers pull out (less competition in the market for their domestic manufacturers).

    Seems to me like something the US should have done a long time ago.

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JaredOfEuropa ( 526365 ) on Friday July 14, 2017 @03:44AM (#54806723) Journal
      Are their domestic car makers held to the same quotas? (fairly, so only counting actual cars and not forklifts, mopeds or small delivery vehicles). If so, I don't see the problem.
      • by mwvdlee ( 775178 )

        Yes, they are.
        And by the way; are non-Chinese companies banned from exporting forklifts, mopeds and small delivery vehicles to China?

      • by fubarrr ( 884157 )

        Find a Chinese car maker without an EV line... BYD actually makes ones that can be said to be better than low-end Model S

        • by phayes ( 202222 )

          The problem being that they only make "ones" and not tens of thousands of them.

          Actually, I think that this is in large part a back-door measure to reduce the number of cars sold overall in China to reduce the pression on both air quality and roadway congestion that are both endemic in china. By aggressively eliminating IC engined vehicules from their market they can kill multiple birds with one stone while not breaking WTO rules. Of course as their automakers are also newcomers they won't have the retooling

    • Re:Good (Score:5, Insightful)

      by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Friday July 14, 2017 @03:50AM (#54806745) Journal
      China is winning and the automakers are begging for their old tech to be accepted for a while longer.
      Its like the new emissions standards of the 1970's and having a production line of old cars to sell.
    • Re:Good (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bearhouse ( 1034238 ) on Friday July 14, 2017 @04:32AM (#54806853)

      Actually, local Chinese companies already dominate the EV market; informative article in link below.

      http://www.eiu.com/industry/ar... [eiu.com]

    • Re:Good for China (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NReitzel ( 77941 ) on Friday July 14, 2017 @04:53AM (#54806901) Homepage

      I agree.

      China is in the same place UK was in in the 1950's. For those of you too young to remember and who have not read, the famous Coloured Fogs of London (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Smog_of_London) killed between 4000 and 12000 people in 1952. Oddly enough, the cause of those events was the same then as it is now in China: burning of coal.

      China is getting aggressive towards cleaning up their act. Car makers don't like it because it means that they must replace tooling which from their point of view is very expensive. Of course, having people sick from air so dirty that some people can't breathe is expensive also, but that's ok since the carmakers don't have to carry that particular expense on _their_ books. Pesky accountants, don't you know.

      Many US cities had serious problems in the mid-20th century. One that has been in the US news lately is Youngstown, Ohio, as an example of a once great industrial center. Unfortunately selective memories neglect to include the fact that Youngstown of the mid-1940s was a poster child for industrial pollution (http://wytv.com/2014/10/27/mahoning-river-has-dirty-history/). Fixing things is always expensive yet somehow people always seem to prefer to create huge problem and then have to clean it up later.

      The Chinese are trying to stave off much bigger problems. More power to them.

    • I think that China is holding all the aces here, right? Doesn't hurt China if the world's car manufacturers pull out (less competition in the market for their domestic manufacturers).

      Seems to me like something the US should have done a long time ago.

      This is basically an opportunity to grab market share from conservative players with petrified business models and a religious belief in the 'don't fix what ain't broke the gasoline engine is the future of the auto industry' mantra. Apple did this with the iPod and iTunes and a whole bunch of companies that used to make electric devices did this when digital cameras became a viable technology and many of the big camera manufacturers hesitated or bet the house on film. Alluvasudden Apple was a big player in

  • Fuck them (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 14, 2017 @03:05AM (#54806623)

    China should just give them the finger.

    People buying new cars in China are the more effluent class who can afford to make some contribution to the environment. Mandating ZEV quota helps push more buyers to consider ZEV.

    Sell more ZEV or just get out of the market.

  • China: "No." (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Friday July 14, 2017 @03:34AM (#54806693) Homepage

    I think far too many people in the world are used to the Americans. They are easily hoodwinked and their legislators are easily bribed with contributions to their election campaigns or to a Foundation of some kind. Moreover their politicians, with a few exceptions, do not have their country's or people's interest in mind and instead pursue a globalist neoliberal agenda. China is a different kettle of fish altogether.

    The world is in for a big fucking surprise when China simply declines to play ball. They have their country, their rules, and anyone who wants to come into their market will abide by their laws. It's going to be a big shock to a lot of people who have never before encountered such an attitude. The next 3-5 years are going to be full of this kind of thing in industry after industry. Sucking up to them like Hollywood does putting Chinese actors in their films for no reason, or like Zuckerberg did trying to speak Mandarin, doesn't work, either. They see through it a mile away. They have more respect for people who love their own countries and don't take any shit from them. It's no coincidence that the word kowtow came into English from their language.

    • Sucking up to them like Hollywood does putting Chinese actors in their films for no reason, or like Zuckerberg did trying to speak Mandarin, doesn't work, either. They see through it a mile away. They have more respect for people who love their own countries and don't take any shit from them. It's no coincidence that the word kowtow came into English from their language.

      Well, your criticism of Zuckerberg is spot on, but he's mostly doing that through greed because getting access to China would get him access to a lot of money. Facebook won't ever be allowed in China under the current regime unless Zuckerberg does a PR disaster type sell out that offers a greatly crippled Facebook that the PRC completely controls. The main reason Facebook isn't allowed in China is that the Chinese Communist Party's greatest fear is being overthrown by spontaneous protests and they won't a

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Friday July 14, 2017 @03:37AM (#54806705)
    Ultimately it could be good for all of us. If China stick to their guns it will accelerate electric vehicle production and development, cleaning the air for everyone. The only caveat is that clean power production has to keep up.
  • JAMA (Score:4, Funny)

    by schnipschnap ( 739127 ) on Friday July 14, 2017 @04:27AM (#54806843)

    Coincidentally, "jama" means somethign like hindrance/obstacle/nuisance in Japanese. :)

  • (Common F. Sense) - "(Cough, Cough) I just know he's gonna make me cut my electric vehicle initiatives. Every single day the pollution is worse than the day before it."

    (Greed N. Corruption) - "Hello Common, whaaats happening? Ummm, I'm gonna need you to go ahead come in tomorrow. Oh, Oh, and I almost forgot ahh, I'm also gonna need you to go ahead and come in on Sunday too, kay. We ahh lost some demand for oil this week and ah, we sorta need to play catch up. Oh, and one more thing, we're gonna need yo

  • even a 100 % electric car just moved its tail pipe to the powerplant that produces the electricity, either coal, or natural gas or whatever, not until the power plants are 100% green will there be zero emission electric cars
    • by robbak ( 775424 ) on Friday July 14, 2017 @08:32AM (#54807519) Homepage
      That's the full story. Petrol engines are really inefficient, and can't save more energy by doing things like regenerative braking. Even if your electric car is powered by 100% fossil fuel plants, you are way ahead because the power stations are much more efficient. And you can do more flue gas cleaning at a large power station than you can do on a million car's exhaust pipes. And then, with every extra bit of renewable power that hits the grids, your EV becomes even cleaner.
    • by shilly ( 142940 )

      just moved its tail pipe to the powerplant

      [emphasis added]
      As though that's no biggie. Getting tail pipe pollution out of urban centres is a *huge* deal, especially in China. Not to mention that power plants have greater economies of scale, can use more sophisticated and effective filtering, and can be made more green over time, cf ICE.

      • Or they could use nuclear power.

        If China wants to clean up the air with electric vehicles then they need to stop using coal to charge them. Solar and wind are nice but they are still expensive. Hydro works if you don't mind displacing potentially millions of people and flooding huge tracts of land. Oh, then there's the thousands dead if the dam fails.

        China has plans to double their nuclear power output in the next five years, double it again in another five years, and no plans to slow down any time soon.

    • by mark-t ( 151149 )

      Or you could just use the definition that the words literally imply, which is to say that the car is zero emission when it doesn't, you know, emit anything. Absolutely anything that is purely battery powered would achieve this criteria, regardless of how the power for the batteries is obtained.

      Which basically only means that calling a vehicle zero-emission doesn't really mean anything for the environment if the same amount of net pollution were still being achieved.

      Saying that a car is not zero-emis

  • How about the US repeal the nonsense "chick war" tariff on pick up trucks? see: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com]

  • ...should take the same stance. see how quick the car industry will be to adapt (they won't have a choice really).
    instead of dragging along, asking for extentions after extention after exception etc.

  • by kenh ( 9056 ) on Friday July 14, 2017 @09:09AM (#54807693) Homepage Journal

    China, the world's biggest car market, has somewhat of an aggressive ZEV mandate that would force automakers to have zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) represent 8% of new car sales as soon as 2018 and quickly ramp up to 12% by 2020.

    Perhaps the issue is that auto manufacturers can't control what consumers buy, only what they offer consumers to buy?

    What percentage of cars sold last year in China were electric? How will the removal of the subsidy cause more electric cars to be sold?

    When Ford first came out with the Expedition, in order to comply with CAFE (Corp. Avg. Fuel Efficiency) standards they forced every dealer to take into inventory one high-mileage Ford Escort for every Expedition they took in to sell, which caused a lot of Ford Escorts to be sold (at a loss) by the Ford dealer, offset by the profits on the Excursion. I envision a similar market distortion as the only way to meet these targets.

    BTW, environmental emotions aside, lets not forget that 2018 is only 6 months away, and the new models for 2018 will roll-out in about 3 months...

  • for sticking to it's guns and giving the finger to the automakers. I hope they force innovation or the destruction of the automotive industry and give it the change it needs. This way we will FINALLY see competition for Tesla in the states.
  • With every car you buy, you also get a bicycle. Instant 50% ZEV market penetration.

  • Looks like a fine way to boost Chinese industry by refusing to fill demand It’s kinda like walking around with a ”kick me” sign taped to your back

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