China’s cars will be ‘fully electrified’ by 2030: BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu

China’s vehicles will be “fully electrified, including all passenger cars” by 2030, predicts the chief executive of China’s top electric vehicle maker, who spoke with reporters here Thursday in the wake of news that the government will phase out fossil-fuel vehicles.

Beijing is still considering the timeline for the ban announced earlier this month. BYD is a leader in the rapidly growing eco-car market and Wang Chuanfu, the company’s CEO, is a heavy influencer of government policy in the field.

Wang said he expected different vehicle types would follow different time frames, suggesting that public buses would be fully electrified by 2020, while special vehicles like trucks would follow by 2025.

The U.K. and France have said they aim to ban sales of fossil-fuel vehicles by 2040. But Wang said China needed to make the switch faster than other countries “for reasons of national security,” pointing out that it depends on imports for 62% of its gasoline.

Wang said he and BYD “stood at the vanguard” of the electrification movement, and had proposed and advocated for government policy on the environmentally friendly vehicles. His ideas are expected to continue to heavily sway such policies.

Indeed, Wang claimed BYD’s “familiarity with Chinese government policy is its strength.” Beijing holds great trust in the company as a leading force in green cars. Sales of the company’s so-called new-energy vehicles, including electric ones and plug-in hybrids, skyrocketed 70% from the prior year to about 96,000 units in 2016 with the support of generous financial incentives.

Powering growth

China’s government predicts that its new-auto market will reach 35 million vehicles in 2025, 25% above 2016 levels. It further says new-energy cars will make up one-fifth or more of that total, with sales in the 7-million-unit range.

Regulations on new-energy vehicles the government plans to implement in 2018 or 2019 will be key to spreading electrification. Automakers selling gasoline-powered vehicles in China will be required to sell a certain number of environmentally friendly vehicles, based on their overall sales volume.

The Chinese government has offered large subsidies almost entirely to domestic manufacturers of electric vehicles, letting them capture the market. Foreign automakers, receiving no such support, have been slow to set up plants for building new-energy vehicles in the country. This being the case, some such companies will have to buy “credits” from market-leading Chinese makers in order to meet the regulations.

SOURCE: Nikkei Asian Review

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