China going green with electric cars as diesel gets scrutinized image

The world’s largest auto market is pushing ahead with electric vehicle integration as an integral part of its energy strategy that looks into shedding its dependence on fossil fuels, just as regulators around the world look into diesels amid the Volkswagen emissions test cheating scandal.

Europe is one of the main areas of popularity for diesel-powered vehicles, but in China the vast majority of autos are propelled by gasoline. And the country’s lawmakers have been investing billions in recent years to increase the adoption of electric cars. The move is part of the energy policy and is also designed to mitigate the serious air pollution issues in its massive cities, but it also looks to gaining a leadership position as the technology will become the future mainstream automotive sector. “The Chinese government has been paying attention to air pollution prevention given that it affects China’s development and economic structural adjustments,” commented Zheng Shanjie, vice administrator of China’s National Energy Administration, talking about Volkswagen’s scandal and diesels in general. “China is now vigorously promoting development of electric vehicles,” added the official.

The country seeks to increase the output of non-fossil fuel energy and reach an use quota of 15 percent of total consumption by the turn of the decade, jumping to 20 percent in 2030. As far as diesel are concerned, local governments have been restricting the use of diesel-equipped cars since the 1990s because of fear of higher pollution and also to stop them from competing for the fuel with trucks that haul goods. According to data compiled by Bloomberg, the total market share for diesel-powered passenger vehicles during the 12 months through August was of just 0-4 percent of sales.

Via Bloomberg