China is at the forefront of manufacturing everything to do with renewables (especially photovoltaic-related) and they also know what’s going to happen to the oil economy once the US gets sufficiently “renewable”, and who is going to need cheap electric vehicles. The Asian push towards electric vehicles is about to get even bigger as China is planning to cut off sales of fossil fuel-powered vehicles entirely, according to Tech Crunch.
Regulators are working hastily on a timetable of when the ban will ultimately take effect, which was reported on Bloomberg.
As the world’s largest car market, China sold 28.03 million vehicles last year alone, and the demand is up by 13,7 percent compared to sales in 2015. Now manufacturers in China have great support and incentives to develop and sell new electric vehicles, including allowing foreign automakers to create a third joint venture with local automakers (a basic need where auto OEMs are located) so long as it’s dedicated to the creation of electric vehicles.
The government has also created a number of incentive programs for OEMs, including subsidies. This will add to its positive efforts to drive more EV sales in China with the ultimate negative condition on the other side – at some point, automakers just won’t be able to do business at all in the country if they’re still selling a mix of fossil fuel and electrified vehicles.
This isn’t the first time a governing body has said it would eventually phase out the sale of traditional fuel vehicles: France said it will stop selling fossil fuel cars by 2040 in July, and the UK has committed to the same timeline for sales of those vehicles.
But with a limited supply of lithium, critics have suggested that a ban on fossil fuel vehicles is likely impractical. It would supposedly stretch an already taxed supply chain, which has some hard limits in terms of the volume of lithium available for lithium-ion battery cells, for instance.
Automakers are already responding to this rising trend with expanded car model lineups and, in the case of Volvo for instance, plans to eventually sell exclusively all-electric or hybrid cars.
Scientists have also not been idle in the wake of lithium supply problems. Australian scientists are successfully working towards a functional zinc battery, while Brookhaven National Laboratory announced a sodium ion battery that would put lithium to shame in terms of price, availability and non-toxicity.