Automotive: China’s Hainan province officially confirms ban on oil-fuelled vehicle sales by 2030

In a press conference on 8 June, China’s southern island province of Hainan confirmed a ban on ICE vehicle sales by 2030, making Hainan the first province in China to set a timetable by which the sales of ICE vehicles will be ended. The provincial government also vowed to shift the whole island to clean energy, in an effort to reduce emissions and improve air quality.

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Hainan has been working strategically to phase out vehicles running on fossil fuels, with the governor of the province first indicating intentions to ban ICE vehicle sales in 2018. In 2019, the provincial government released its New Energy Vehicles Development Plan and proposed a progressive strategy, aiming to ensure that all private vehicles will run on clean energy by 2030. The government is also scheduled to build an extensive network of vehicle-charging points across the island, with the total number of charging poles reaching 940,000 by 2030.

Rich in clean energy resources, including solar, wind and nuclear power, Hainan aims to build a reliable 80% clean electricity system by 2030. The electrification of the vehicle fleet is the starting point and charging infrastructure for EVs using clean energy is highlighted as a key target. Roskill’s sustainability analysis shows that the lower emissions (or total lack of emissions) in the ‘use’ stage of a BEV, outweigh the additional emissions caused in the ‘production’ stage after a reasonable period operation, compared to an ICE vehicle.

Hainan’s plan to end ICE vehicle sales by 2030 is forecast to further boost demand for batteries and battery materials, although Beijing remains reluctant to set a date for a nationwide ban on sales of ICE vehicles. Roskill believes that, on a regional or national basis, the penetration rate of EVs will follow an uneven trajectory across different markets, driven by varying levels of local government support, commitments to the development of charging infrastructure, and the market position of manufacturers with leading positions in the EV markets. Known as a testing case for progressive policies, Hainan is leading the way among provincial-level governments, although how far similar policies propagate in other Chinese provinces over the coming decade will be critical to EV growth in the Chinese market. Central Chinese government will also need to think seriously about the effect of a nationwide transition to EVs, weighing up the impacts on other key industries and petroleum demand in China.

Roskill’s NEW Lithium-ion batteries: Outlook to 2029, 4th Edition report was published in May 2020; Click here to download the brochure and sample pages for the report, or to access further information.

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