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Unofficial study predicts China’s timetable for phasing out traditional ICEVs

Tuesday From Gasgoo| May 22 , 2019 19:37 BJT

Shanghai (Gasgoo)- On May 20, the China Oil Consumption Cap Plan and Policy Research Project released the Study on China's Timetable For Phasing-out Traditional ICE-vehicles, which predicted the phasing-out progress of China’s internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) for the first time.

In a bid to propose a holistic plan for the phase-out of China’s ICEVs in the near future, the report evaluates the feasibility for phasing out China’s ICEVs, focusing on the benefits, uncertainties and risks during the transition. It must be pointed out that this is not an official report from the government.

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According to the report, China has been the world’s largest auto market for a decade, with annual vehicle sales amounting to nearly 30 million units per year by 2018. Car population in this country has exceeded 200 million units. Last year, China’s oil consumption reached 625 million tons, among which imported oil percentage was increased to 70.9%, posing a potential threat to the state’s energy security. On the other hand, vehicles occupied 42% of the total consumption of crude oil and accounted for over 80% of refined oil. Thus, phasing out ICEVs is quite significant for lowering China’s oil consumption. 

Based on China’s national goal set for automobile industry development and emission, the study said ICEVs are expected to be entirely phased out in China by 2050. Some megacities, like Beijing, may fully electrify their buses, logistics vehicles, taxis as well as vehicles for ride-hailing services next year, and achieve electrification for private cars around 2030. 

In this report, the principle of “by region” has been highlighted. China has been divided into 4 levels on basis of 10 indicators including local economic conditions, car ownership and saturation, accessibility of ICEVs, NEV industry deployment, NEV promotion, NEV infrastructures, air pollution control area and governmental decision-making. The phase-out process should be conducted as follows:

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“By vehicle category” is another principle underscored. The ICEVs categories have been segmented into several sub-classes under two major sectors (PV and CV) in terms of the current policies, technical development in car models, usage scenarios and promotion difficulties.

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A timetable of ICEV’s phase-out in China by regions and vehicle categories has been proposed based on an estimated vehicle model evolution in the future, which is listed as follows: 

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There are several regions in China that have already announced their ICEV phase-out plans. For example, Hainan Province claimed earlier this year that it would gradually ban the sale of ICEVs from March 1, 2019 and speed up construction of supporting infrastructures like charging piles and other charging facilities. The provincial government also anticipated that ICEVs will be prohibited to run on roads before 2030.   

The study pointed out that some uncertain factors exist in the process of ICEVs phase-out. For instance, there is still uncertainty over NEVs technical breakthrough, transition to market-oriented sales and the effect of shared economy on private car demand. What’s more, NEV market development is also confronted with multiple threats, such as the scarcity in rare metals including Li and Co, battery recycling inefficiency and grid overload from EV charging. These are all factors that should be taken into account by policy makers, who need to figure out corresponding solutions. 

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