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China Transportation Power Technology

China Joins the Growing Movement To Ban Gasoline, Diesel Cars (arstechnica.com) 126

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: China has become the latest country to publicly discuss plans to ban the production and sale of gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicles. In July, both France and the UK published plans to phase out sales of conventionally powered vehicles by 2040. China will now add another nail to the coffin of the internal combustion engine. However, unlike the French or British plans, in this case there's no target date -- yet. The news comes from an automotive policy forum in Tianjin. China's vice minister of industry and information technology, Xin Guobin, said that his ministry has begun work on a timetable to phase out fossil fueled vehicles. The Xinhua news agency also reports that Xin told automakers they need to begin to "readjust their strategies" accordingly. For foreign car companies hoping to sell EVs in China, that will mean investing in the country, as imported vehicles come with stiff import duties attached.
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China Joins the Growing Movement To Ban Gasoline, Diesel Cars

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  • Their oil dependent Allie will be happy to hear about that
  • 2040? (Score:3, Informative)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Monday September 11, 2017 @04:44PM (#55177207)

    That's a nice, far-away target date that lets people feel good about themselves without actually having to do anything. Plus there's plenty of time to extend the deadline when it eventually approaches (or just quietly ignore it at that point, given there are likely no enforceable deadlines or penalties associated with the plan).

    • by Anonymous Coward

      True. But this is China.

      They will just change the laws as they see fit, and enforce it. If they choose too.

    • That's a nice, far-away target date that lets people feel good about themselves without actually having to do anything.

      That is what would happen if it were Europe or the US. But we're talking about a country whose government is as studded with engineers as ours is with lawyers.

      • Their engineers are just as good at engineering as our lawyers are.
        • Is that because they send so many engineering students to the USA to learn or in spite of it?

        • Their engineers are just as good at engineering as our lawyers are.

          Their engineers are among the best in the world. We should know, we trained them.

          Don't conflate cheap construction practices, and built to the lowest cost products with incompetent engineering.

    • That's a nice, far-away target date that lets people feel good about themselves

      Maybe

      without actually having to do anything

      Oh do not confuse good vibes with actual industry. The lithium market is really getting competitive and China stands to earn a lot in the export of raw materials. China pretty much is in some ratio promoting clean cars and the fact they want to make a lot of money on this resource that they sit on. If you're cynical, I guess you could call that ratio as 10/90 or if you are optimistic you could say it is 50/50, but one cannot just say clean cars without also saying China pumping up a new industry and

    • Re:2040? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Monday September 11, 2017 @07:46PM (#55178063)

      China is not a western democracy. You may recall that they're not shy of implementing what we would consider draconian, even brutal measures to solve a perceived problem. Do you recall China's population problem, and how they dealt with that? At the moment, their country is drowning in air pollution.

      I'm not saying this admiringly, as this is simply the manifest power of an authoritarian government, and not something we should seek to emulate (speaking of the means, not the end). I'm willing to bet there's a good chance China will follow through with their promises here. It's not for some noble or abstract reason like "saving the planet." They've got a severe pollution problem that's affecting *everyone's* health - including the party elite. As such, there's a very high motivation to solve this issue.

      • I'm willing to bet there's a good chance China will follow through with their promises here.

        There is, but not because China is special. It's because odds are good that by 2040 there will be vanishingly few non-EVs produced. That's why the date they picked is meaningless non-news.

    • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

      It's a major piece of public policy, yes it doesn't cost anything (today) but it puts China firmly on the pro side of the Paris climate agreement. China is either #1 or #2 in nearly any statistic that matters, people are going to pay attention to this, and companies are going to have to take this in to account when designing tooling for cars, maybe not today, but certainly in 10 years. A lot of tooling that gets built is run for 20+ years.

      There's going to be a big shift in designing cars as 100% ga

    • That's a nice, far-away target date that lets people feel good about themselves without actually having to do anything.

      China went from the equivalent of the 16th century to the 21st in about 30 years. They are the most doingest government in human history. Sure they have a lot of internal issues too, but doing stuff isn't one of them.

    • given there are likely no enforceable deadlines or penalties associated with the plan

      You are writing from an American perspective. There is a plan in place. The deadlines and penalties will be decided when people don't meet the plan, and they will be severe or will require a lot of bribing otherwise.

      China is nothing if not good on following through with their promises, and this is directly in line with the strategy that they are already adopting to become the dominant EV producer and market in the world.

  • ... the US will ban all automobiles that get more the 15 MPG.
    • Hey. In 20-30 years electric vehicles will make gasoline vehicles obsolete. No one in the US, or anyplace else, will be buying ICE cars if electric is cheaper and better. This is a feel good law. It makes the fools feel like governments are "doing something."
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by HornWumpus ( 783565 )

        Yep. Also note if the trends don't bear out, they will extend the life of IC engines as long as they need to.

        Meaningless propaganda.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Are the 167,000 charging stations they built also "meaningless propaganda"?

          https://tech.slashdot.org/stor... [slashdot.org]

          This is just a small part of their massive push towards EVs. A push that is not only cleaning up their environment, but allowing their manufacturers to become the world leaders in EV technology. They are getting the patents, selling the busses and cars while western manufacturers dick around with hybrids and compliance cars.

      • Fortunately if electric makes serious inroads on ICE engines I should be able to get gas for 1$ a gallon and extend the usefulness of my current car another couple of decades.
        • Fortunately if electric makes serious inroads on ICE engines I should be able to get gas for 1$

          Not necessarily. What will end up happening is that they'll just pump less oil and make less gasoline so that they can keep the price up.

          No, I would think the price of gasoline will go up, not down, because there will be fewer customers, eliminating some of the "economy of scale."

      • by blindseer ( 891256 ) <blindseerNO@SPAMearthlink.net> on Monday September 11, 2017 @06:03PM (#55177619)

        What if they get it wrong? I mean if electric vehicles are the future then just let it happen, no need to force it along with bans and subsidies.

        We saw this with the CFL bulb subsidies. The government would give large rebates for people to buy CFL lighting but the bulbs are crap. They take 20 minutes to "warm up", interfere with IR remotes (that nearly drove me batty until I figured out that the lamp was what kept the TV remote from working), can't handle the heat of being in a closed fixture (who lights their house entirely with floor lamps and chandeliers?), and contain toxic mercury (broken bulbs happen, and in places like where our children sleep and where we prepare their food). Not long after LED lights came out and they are awesome. They light up immediately, don't interfere with remote controls, and don't burn themselves out if in a common light fixture. They aren't perfect, for example they still have a "funny" color to them, but they are getting better. Does anyone even buy CFLs anymore now that LEDs are just as cheap?

        If not electric vehicles then what? I don't know, but as I recall few people saw LEDs coming to market as quickly as they did. What if the claims of algae based diesel fuel becomes a reality? Are we still going to ban internal combustion engines? Maybe ethanol gets real cheap because we found a new way to make it. Maybe we get synthesized hydrocarbons from wind and wave powered factories.

        As inefficient as an internal combustion engine might be that inefficiency becomes largely irrelevant if the means to produce, store, and transport the fuels becomes "green", cheap, and plentiful. If algal fuels become viable then we aren't using electricity to produce it, it comes from the sun. If we can convert sun power to motive power by algae more efficiently than through photovoltaic panels and batteries then banning internal combustion engines is a problem.

        Let's not repeat past mistakes.

        • Does anyone even buy CFLs anymore now that LEDs are just as cheap?

          I predict that the same jackasses who demanded that we switch to CFL lamps will become the loudest proponents of banning them, and not just banning them, setting up hazardous disposal teams to remove them.

          They, of course, have a certified Hazardous Waste Disposal company they could suggest.

          • by blindseer ( 891256 ) <blindseerNO@SPAMearthlink.net> on Monday September 11, 2017 @07:05PM (#55177891)

            I remember seeing some CFL bulbs on the shelf that advertise "reduced mercury content". Hmm, so you're saying they still contain mercury? Isn't mercury bad for you? Even in "reduced" amounts? No thanks.

            I'll use the CFL bulbs I have until they burn out because that's a sunk cost but I won't buy more. This is especially true now that I've seen the real life lifespan of these bulbs, I have incandescent bulbs that lasted many times longer.

            Also, wouldn't be just as "green" if we used LED (or even incandescent) lights powered from wind or solar?

            Dear Senator,
            Fix the problem at the source, don't mandate that I buy a lower quality bulb. Let people build some nuclear power plants already. Don't mandate nuclear power. Don't subsidize it. Just let people do it.

            • Hmm, so you're saying they still contain mercury? Isn't mercury bad for you? Even in "reduced" amounts? No thanks.

              Sure is. Oxygen is bad for you in reduced amounts or increased amounts too. You know how to get more mercury in your body than inhaling the paltry 2.5mg that is in a CFL? Eating fish. Don't eat fish if you're afraid of mercury, unless you understand science, doses, and concentrations.

              You know as I type this I am sitting in an enclosed room with 40 fluor tubes each with roughly 20x the concentration of mercury in them as that scary CFL in your house. We have been doing this since the 70s. ... actually maybe

        • As inefficient as an internal combustion engine might be that inefficiency becomes largely irrelevant if the means to produce, store, and transport the fuels becomes "green", cheap, and plentiful. If algal fuels become viable then we aren't using electricity to produce it, it comes from the sun. If we can convert sun power to motive power by algae more efficiently than through photovoltaic panels and batteries then banning internal combustion engines is a problem.

          Let's not repeat past mistakes.

          The combustion engine, no matter what fuel it runs on, isn't going anywhere. There will always be instances where people need to go places or do things that require fast refueling using a portable energy dense substance in the middle of nowhere. That just isn't solar or batteries. For example, there is no way that anyone is going to own a boat that requires a week to charge using solar just to go from one side of a lake to another. And, yes, I'm talking about the 30% or so of things that we do that occu

          • by swb ( 14022 )

            For example, there is no way that anyone is going to own a boat that requires a week to charge using solar just to go from one side of a lake to another.

            Check out the Greenline hybrid -- supposedly it can make about 4 knots solely off the solar panels covering the salon and somewhat faster (9 knots?) for a number of hours off battery alone. It also has a single diesel which uses some kind of clutch mechanism to run as a generator, turn the prop shaft or both. I'm guessing they run the generator as a motor when running off electric power.

            I boat on an inland lake (as do millions of other Americans) and most of the time we don't go that far -- maybe 10 miles

        • I mean if electric vehicles are the future then just let it happen, no need to force it along with bans and subsidies.

          So your argument is that subsidies don't work, despite every major boost in human progress being funded in someway by subsidies?

          • Calculus was funded by subsidies?
            Telescopes were funded by subsidies?
            Determining Longitude was found by a government prize.
            The steam engine was funded by subsidies?
            How about the cotton gin?

            No. Somethings, at sometimes were aided by subsidies.

            how about all those companies and ideas that were subsidized that didn't pan out.
            How about all the government corruption that occurs as a DIRECT RESULT of subsidies.
            • Calculus was funded by subsidies?

              Newton was funded externally so yes.

              Telescopes were funded by subsidies?

              As was Galileo

              Determining Longitude was found by a government prize.

              As were the global explorers

              The steam engine was funded by subsidies?

              A lot of it yes...

              How about the cotton gin?

              Probably. I don;t know anything about it, but I highly doubt it was completely void of external financial and government assistance

              No. Somethings, at sometimes were aided by subsidies.

              Maybe, but to get any major piece of technology mainstream some external public assistance was required.

              how about all those companies and ideas that were subsidized that didn't pan out.

              Nothing is life is free, but the concept of subsidies generally produces a net benefit to society.

              How about all the government corruption that occurs as a DIRECT RESULT of subsidies.

              As above. Like Venture Capital, there's all sorts of sins associated with it but th

              • Newton was most definitely not subsidized. Having a job is not (necessarily) a government subsidy and in his case it most definitely was not.

                Didn't even read the rest.
                • Newton's government job was intended as a sinecure, a way of paying him money without imposing responsibility on him. People were surprised when he took the job seriously.

                  • He got that job (head of the mint) long after the development of calculus and the laws of thermodynamics. He was already about 60 and his work on optics, thermodynamics, calculus was done while in his 20s and 30s.

                    There was no government subsidy for the development of optics, calculus or any of his work.

                    At the end of his life he was given well paid positions to honour him and hopefully that a man of his intellect could solve the counterfeiting problem.
        • What if they get it wrong? I mean if electric vehicles are the future then just let it happen, no need to force it along with bans and subsidies.

          If you remove all government intervention and let the free market decide anything you end up with anarchy. Remember the present situation is not a result of any free market.

          What will happen if you don't force it along? The same thing that happens when a company which doesn't care about anything but profit produces the cheapest thing for people who don't care about the environment, and who then go crying when they can't see the end of the street through the smog.

          We saw this with the CFL bulb subsidies.

          Yes we did. People the world over reduced thei

        • by b0bby ( 201198 )

          They have a real problem with pollution, which is why it's a ban on sale of ICE vehicles. Algae based diesel fuel, while possibly being carbon-neutral, still pumps out crap into your cities, which is what they seem to be most concerned about.

          Also, they may well be trying to get their EV industry jumpstarted while the big Western automakers are still dithering.

        • by MercTech ( 46455 )

          You do realize that electric motors are, at best, 28% efficient. And, the same for electric generators. Burning the fuel to create mechanical energy close to the end use is always more efficient.

          And, there were LED lightbulbs on the market a decade before U.S. retailers had a clue about them. CFL lightbulbs were a real non starter because they wouldn't fit in older light fixtures. Add in the annoying 60hz flicker and they are fully reviled by a huge plurality. Even with the CFL rebates, who wants to re

  • Even if my own federal government is sticking it's head in the ground, it's good to see that some nations are beginning to take our global situation seriously. A shift in the structure of power will occur when nations actually take our situation seriously.

  • by Yergle143 ( 848772 ) on Monday September 11, 2017 @06:41PM (#55177793)

    ...and the United States is ruled by attorneys whose sole purpose in this world is to pollute it with paper.

  • Wood gas [wikipedia.org] vehicles when? I hear they are pretty popular in Best Korea. Perhaps there is an opportunity for some technology interchange there.

  • Yep, can't have those pesky citizens having a method to travel around that doesn't require fourteen kinds of permission. Just ignore the fact that electric vehicles just mean more emissions somewhere else.

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