The Chinese government announced on Thursday that it would start phasing out fossil fuel cars and set a 10 per cent minimum quota of “new energy vehicles” in 2019, confirming Beijing’s leadership role in the development of the electric vehicle sector.
China, the world’s largest car market, has set the 2019 “new energy vehicles” sales quota for automakers at 10 per cent of their annual vehicle sales for that year. In 2020, the quota will rise to 12 per cent of annual sales.
China’s ministry of industry and information technology said that producers, as well as importers, would need to prove that at least 10 per cent of the cars they sell in 2019 are new energy vehicles or pay hefty fines. These comprise electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
The move puts further pressure on European car makers to respond. The industry has pointed to a lack of charging networks and high prices as stifling development.
Beijing's support for electric vehicle sales has made China the biggest market for the technology. Sales of electrics and gasoline-electric hybrids rose 50 percent over 2015 to 336,000 vehicles, or 40 per cent of global demand. US sales totaled 159,620.