The auto industry is once again attempting to slow down the rollout of electric vehicles.
Virtually all automakers, except for Tesla of course, have sent a letter to the Chinese government in an attempt to have them drastically weaken their zero-emission vehicle mandate.
As we previously reported, China, the world’s biggest car market, has somewhat of an aggressive ZEV mandate that would force Automakers to have zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) represent 8% of new car sales as soon as 2018 and quickly ramp up to 12% by 2020.
Now Germany’s WirtschaftsWoche magazine (via Auto News) reports that the American Automotive Policy Council (AAPC), which represents Chrysler/Fiat, Ford, and GM, the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA), which represents all major European automakers, the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) and the Korea Automobile Manufacturers Association (KAMA), have all sent a joint letter to China’s Minister of Industry and Information Technology to ask for several significant changes to the mandate.
“Because we have common concerns with the proposed NEV rules, we have joined together to offer, with utmost respect, six recommended modifications that address those concerns while still meeting the goals of those rules and other related policies,” the letter said.
The “six recommended modifications” include slowing the rollout of the mandate by 1 to 3 years, reconsidering the penalty system if they don’t meet the quota, having credits not only for all-electric cars but also plug-in hybrid cars, and basically making the whole mandate weaker so that they don’t have to produce as many electric cars.
It’s not the first time that the auto industry banded together to weaken the rollout of electric cars. Virtually the exact same situation happened in an attempt to block EPA’s new fuel consumption standard in the US.
What is often left out of this conversation is that the auto industry is not the only thing that is at stake here. Basically, those automakers are asking the Chinese government to let them sell their polluting vehicles in their country for a longer period of time without penalties.
China has an important problem of air pollution that is believed to be the cause of over 4,000 deaths every day. This initiative is part of their campaign to reduce the air pollution in cities and its impact on the health of its population.
The country is also addressing the issue on the energy front by adding renewable energy on its grid faster than any country, which in turn, is making electric vehicles even greener by being powered by this increasingly greener electric grid.
Apparently, this is happening too fast for those automakers. While almost all of them have admitted at some point that electric cars are the future of the industry, those actions they are taking through their special interest groups are sending a different message.
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