China softens new energy vehicle requirements through 2020 – China’s latest business and technology news

Business & Technology

A summary of the top news in Chinese business and technology for September 28, 2017. Part of the daily SupChina newsletter, a convenient package of China’s business, political, and cultural news delivered to your inbox for free. Subscribe here.

When China announced on September 10 that it was setting ambitious goals to electrify its car market, likely in a matter of a few decades, some automakers pushed back.

But even before that, automakers were aghast at draft requirements, first reported at the end of April, that China “would require as much as 8 percent of [all car] sales in China to be electric vehicles as early as next year.”

Now Bloomberg says that the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has delayed this rule for a year, and announced a more comprehensive cap-and-trade system to go into effect in 2019. The system will require automakers who manufacture or import more than 30,000 vehicles a year in China to achieve a “new-energy vehicle score” (新能源汽车积分比例 xīn néngyuán qìchē jīfēn bǐlì) of at least 10 percent by 2019, and 12 percent by 2020. A Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst said that 12 percent in this scoring system translates to “about 4 percent to 5 percent of actual vehicle sales” — much less than the 8 percent target raised earlier this year.

In other auto news:

  • JD Power’s latest survey of vehicle quality revealed that Chinese automakers have almost closed the gap in quality with foreign automakers, the FT reports (paywall). Michael Dunne, author of a book on General Motors in China and a piece on SupChina about the Chinese carmaker Geely, told the FT that this was “the beginning of the end of Detroit in China.”
  • CNBC has two reports on how Tesla and Japanese automakers are set to compete in the Chinese electric vehicle market.
  • Sixth Tone says that “Batteries from green cars could swamp China’s recycling industry.”