Several automakers pledge to stop producing fuel-efficient vehicles by 2040
At the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference, BYD, Mercedes-Benz and other six major car manufacturers signed a commitment: to phase out the production of petrol cars worldwide by 2040. After the news was released, some people started selling anxiety online again, “you can’t buy petrol cars in the future”; some netizens teased, “your family’s petrol cars, to go out of print”; some even speculated, “will our country also Some people even speculate ” and so on.
Such voices can easily ruffle the public’s feathers and cause emotional resonance. After all, stopping the production and sale of petrol cars and developing new energy vehicles is an important way to combat global climate change and achieve carbon neutrality, especially in the context of some countries’ proposed timetables for banning the sale of petrol cars, which is hard not to make people think. However, it should be noted that the transformation of the automobile industry, which is closely related to other fields such as energy, industry and people’s livelihood, is destined to be a long-term and complex process, and it is not only necessary to have a development vision but also systematic thinking.
From the enterprise level, the transition to new energy vehicles requires both policy and regulation leading and forcing, as well as technological innovation and breakthrough, and infrastructure support and improvement. In fact, this conference not only BMW, Hyundai, Honda, Nissan and Strands and other mainstream car companies did not sign this agreement, the world’s two largest car companies in terms of sales Volkswagen and Toyota also did not sign.
Among them, Toyota gave the explanation that “most of the world is not yet ready for zero-emission vehicles.” The main reason why some mainstream automakers are cautious about this commitment is also that, on the one hand, the cost of technological transformation of car companies is huge; on the other hand, it is difficult for government-related policy support and social support system construction to be in place in one step.
The refusal of car companies is not a refusal of new energy transformation
At the end of June this year, Volkswagen announced that it would withdraw from the internal combustion engine car business in Europe between 2033 and 2035 and would become carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest. By 2030, VW’s electric vehicles could account for 70 percent of the company’s total sales in Europe. It can be said that VW is currently the most aggressive company in the world in the transition to new energy for traditional petrol car companies. However, considering the large volume of its traditional business, it is expected that it will not sign at present.
Although in recent years, the voice of “no combustion” has been incessant, but so far, only the UK (including Scotland) and the French government officially announced a petrol car ban plan, some political parties in other countries or some states and counties proposed a related bill, but more of a vision and initiative, did not rise to the legal level, in the legislative side and implementation side is not yet No progress has been made on the legislative and implementation sides. So far, no country has explicitly banned the sale of petrol cars by law.
More factors need to be considered in formulating a petrol car ban
For countries with large automobile production and consumption, setting a timetable for a petrol ban requires consideration of multiple factors such as economics, energy, emission reduction, and markets, not just one dimension of emissions.
It should be said that, with technological progress and policy and regulation pushback, the replacement of new energy vehicles to petrol vehicles will gradually increase, but more or rely on market forces. Cars replace horse-drawn carriages, smartphones replace traditional cell phones, and digital cameras replace film cameras, not because any government encourages the former or opposes the latter, but because the former can better meet consumer demand than the latter.
Considering the progressive nature of technological progress, the imbalance of resources and the complexity of regional climates, new energy vehicles and petrol vehicles will “go hand in hand” for a long time.
Therefore, the ban on the sale and withdrawal of traditional petrol vehicles in large countries cannot be implemented in a “one-size-fits-all” manner but rather in a “region-by-region, model-by-model, phase-by-phase” manner.