China’s top state planner said it would tighten regulations for building new factories for traditional petrol-burning vehicles, as the country cracks down on “zombie” firms and pushes automakers to convert to non-polluting electric vehicles. China’s central government sees electric vehicles as a way for its industry to leapfrog ahead of international competitors, that have decades more experience in making petrol cars, while also reducing intense urban smog, according to Reuters. The policy, issued by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on its website, extends to the automotive sector Beijing’s fight against overcapacity and “zombie” firms that is already underway in the coal and steel sector. Automakers seeking to build new petrol car factories should have operated above the national average production capacity utilization rate for the previous two years, the NDRC said. Also, they should have produced a higher proportion of new energy vehicles than the industry average in the previous year, it added.
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