The Strategist

China to ban internal combustion engines

09/11/2017 - 12:06

The Chinese authorities are considering a possible ban on cars with internal combustion engines in the country. This summer, United Kingdom and France decided to ban gasoline and diesel engines up to 2040; other countries do not rule out this possibility, too.

China, following many other countries, wants to ban cars with internal combustion engines. As Deputy Minister of Industry and Information Technology of China said, the country's authorities are working to establish specific deadlines to which the production and sale of cars with gasoline and diesel engines will be stopped. According to him, this step will be of great importance for the environment and the automotive industry of China, and will encourage automakers to actively develop electric vehicles.

China is by no means the first country to think about banning cars with an internal combustion engine. In July, France and Britain announced that they are going to ban the sale of such cars up to 2040. Earlier it was reported that many other countries, including Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, are also considering the possibility of introducing such a ban. 

China is the world leader in the production and sale of cars. According to the International Organization of Automobile Manufacturers, the country produced 28 million cars in 2016, which makes up about 30% of the world's total production (94 million).

Chinese authorities are already trying to push automakers to develop and produce electric vehicles. The government offers grants to manufacturers of electric cars. In the next year, China wants to introduce quotas for the production of electric cars for all automakers. Yasuhide Mizuno, the director of Honda’s Chinese representative office said that the company is going to present its own electric vehicle in the Chinese market as early as 2018. Many other companies are either producing or are going to manufacture electric vehicles in China - among them are Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Audi, Ford, Tesla.

However, not all representatives of business approve such governmental initiatives in different countries. A few days ago, strategy director of British-Dutch oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell Guy Outen said that the ban on gasoline and diesel engines can be harmful, as it will adversely affect development of the most economical alternative engine. According to Mr. Outen, Shell supports the desire to reduce harmful emissions into the atmosphere, but, in his opinion, governments should not interfere in development of new vehicles. He believes that this issue should be regulated by the market itself. The state authorities should also regulate this process by raising taxes on emissions, not by banning internal combustion engines.