China, the strongest backer for electric vehicles, aims to have at least 20 percent of all new cars sold by 2025 run on alternative fuels, according to the New York Times.
It is strong-arming global car manufacturers to get in line.
“Last month, China issued new rules that would require the world’s carmakers to sell more alternative-energy cars here if they wanted to continue selling regular ones.
“That is forcing automakers from Detroit to Yokohama and Seoul to Stuttgart to pick up the pace of transformation or risk being left behind in the world’s largest car market,” the newspaper reported.
The Chinese government has a history of backing key strategic industries and driving them to world dominance. It has done so with wind and solar energy manufacturers.
“If China succeeds — and there is no guarantee — Beijing’s policy makers will be front and center reimagining the global auto industry, a business that has helped define communities, industries and people’s aspirations for more than a century. It is a role that was almost inconceivable just a few decades ago,” the Times reported.
The Chinese have stepped up efforts to recruit the best electric engineers around the world – including the United States – to fuel its drive for dominance in autos.
According to recent studies, China this year will set more electric-battery powered cars – 295,00 – that the entire rest of the world – 287,000.
Within two years, that gap will surge, with China selling 814,000 new EVs compared to 602,000 in the rest of the world.
But this trend will not mean immediate improvement in the foul air over Beijing since the country will continue to rely heavily on coal-fired generation to support its surging fleet of EVs, the Times reported.