Just another WordPress.com site
Beijing: Drafts Nation’s Toughest Tailpipe Emission Standards (2012-03-26)
Stricter auto emission standards are likely to be adopted this year in the capital city as pollution inBeijingcontinues to cause concern. A draft plan by the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau under public review until April 9 calls for the city to lead the way with tougher standards.
“The Beijing V standard is equivalent to the Euro V standard,” said a professor at the Environmental School of Tsinghua University. The standard calls for lower nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions. Nitrogen oxide emissions would be limited to 0.06 grams, down from the 0.08 grams in the national IV standard, while particulate matter emissions are limited to less than 0.0045 grams per km.
It also requires cleaner emissions as vehicles get older, upping the compliance limit to vehicles with 160,000 km on the odometer compared to 100,000 km in the national IV standard.
Though Beijinghas been the pacesetter in implementing increasingly tough emission standards over the past decade, total tailpipe emissions in the city have continued to rise by more than 10% annually.
Zeng Zhiling, director of LMC Automotive Asia Pacific Forecasting, told that the Beijing V standard may put pressure on automakers because they would be forced to make models that meet separate standards – one for theBeijingmarket and another for the rest of the country for the national IV standard.
“It will cost an automaker more than 10,000 yuan to upgrade an engine to meet the Beijing V standard,” China Automotive Business News cited an industry insider as saying. But many automakers told the media that they began preparing to meet the new standard after receiving notice of the draft regulation.
A source at Shanghai GM’s technology and engineering department said the company has already finished modifying its engine designs. When the new standard is officially implemented, the company will be able to supply models to meet the new standard right away, it said. Li Yunfei, an executive at domestic automaker BYD, told reporters that the company was also prepared for the change.
Besides engine improvements, fuel quality is also key to lowering vehicle pollution, industry insiders say. Chinese-language media reported that the country’s fuel suppliers have already developed gasoline and diesel fuel that meets engine requirements in the Beijing V standard.
But the new standard will have almost no impact on vehicle sales inBeijingthis year, Zeng from LMC said. “The biggest impact onBeijing’s automotive market is from the license plate registration policy started at the end of 2010. The market took the most serious hit last year,” he said.
Beijing: Residents Could Share Taxis (2012-03-26)
Beijing traffic authorities are encouraging residents to share taxis to overcome the shortage of cabs during rush hours.
“Regulations permit co-hiring a taxi when all passengers get in the car at the same place and head in the same direction,” Yao Kuo, director of theBeijingtransportation law enforcement team, said. “We hope taxi enterprises will try to offer such a service,” he said.Yaowarned that taxi drivers who refused to accept shared hiring would be penalized.
The city’s traffic and finance authorities already have rules that stipulate a passenger pays 60% of the cost of a trip that is jointly taken.
Beijing has more than 60,000 taxis, carrying about 2 million passengers every day.
Zhang Changqing, a traffic law professor atBeijingJiaotongUniversity, welcomed taxi sharing as it would not only help relieve the city’s traffic congestion but also reduce exhaust emissions. But he said authorities should regulate to differentiate between multiple hire arranged by the passengers and that arranged by taxi drivers intent on making a profit.
“Co-hiring a taxi should be encouraged with the passengers’ full willingness and knowledge of an arrangement. But some drivers randomly pick up passengers when there are already customers in the taxi and they finally charge all passengers the same fare in order to make more money, which is not legally permitted,” he said.
But residents and taxi drivers do not seem to share enthusiasm for co-hiring. Lu Xiongyu, who works at a trade company inBeijing, said it was worth sharing a taxi to save money on a long journey, but not for a short one. “Also, I have to spend time finding other people who want to share a taxi with me and, at the same time, go in the same direction,” he said.
Gan Qianyi, aBeijingresident, said she would not choose to share a taxi unless she urgently needed to get somewhere. “It’s okay to share a taxi with others if it’s in the daytime and the place I want to go to is not that remote. But I would refuse to share a car with strange men at night because I think it’s dangerous and embarrassing,” she said.
Zhang Yi, aBeijingtaxi driver, said he heard he could offer the co-hire option several years ago, but the technical problem of invoice printing has made many passengers shy away from it.
Other cities have varied policies on co-hiring taxis.
Fuzhou, Fujian province, allows it, but any driver who forces passengers to share a taxi would incur a fine of up to 1,000 yuan ($160) or have his taxi driver’s license suspended for two years. In Shanghai, taxi drivers are strictly forbidden to solicit customers to share taxis. Huang Rong, director of theShanghai urban construction and communications commission, saidShanghai’s traffic conditions were different from those inBeijing, and taxi sharing may not be the best solution.
Hong Kong: to Tighten Vehicle Emission Standards (2012-03-26)
The 2012 Air Pollution Control (Vehicle Design Standards) amendment regulation was released here Friday to tighten emission standards for newly registered vehicles to European levels, according to theHong Konggovernment website.
The city’s Environmental Protection Department said the regulation requires newly registered vehicles to comply with Euro V standards from June 1. Newly registered diesel vehicles of less than 3.5 tons must comply with the standards from Dec. 31.
Compared with Euro IV vehicles, Euro V heavy diesel vehicles emit 40% less nitrogen oxide, while light diesel vehicles emit 80% less respirable suspended particulates and 30% less nitrogen oxide. Euro V petrol or LPG vehicles emit 30% less nitrogen oxide.
The amendment will be tabled at the Legislative Council on March 28. If approved, it will take effect on June 1, 2012.
Liuzhou: to Develop New Energy Vehicles (2012-03-28)
Developing new energy vehicles has become the focus of the national automobile industry. Liuzhou (2011-2013) New Energy Vehicle Demonstrative Promotion Plan was recently released. The automotive enterprises will launch 1,000 new energy vehicles in the local area by 2013.
The city will build a charging station, 150 public charging piles (cupboards) and 5 service outlets for the vehicles.Liuzhou plans to become the R&D base for the sector in Guangxi province with annual production projected at 20,000 vehicles.
The vehicles are expected to be released in stages within three years. 215 vehicles will be initially manufactured to support services such as logistics, power supply and communities transportation in local and overseas markets.
Afterward, 330 more vehicles will be built for regional, domestic and overseas markets along a sales team to broaden into tourism, community services, sanitation and urban public transportation.
Finally, 455 new energy vehicles will be introduced to all markets with pilot objects that spread to police patrols, postal services, official vehicles and other fields.
The vehicles will be marketed for the local market that also explores regional, domestic and overseas markets. Additionally, Liuzhouwill improve the consumption and service environment to transform into an Energy-Savings and New Energy Vehicle Demonstrative Promotion City.
Zhangqiu: Transport Center Told to Stop Collecting Illegal Fees (2012-03-29)
The transportation service center in Zhangqiu, a satellite city ofJinanin East China’sShandongprovince, was ordered on Tuesday to stop illegally imposing fees on owners of cargo vehicles, according to Qilu Evening News.
The center, which was established in 1999 by the Transportation Bureau of Zhangqiu, has committed the illegal deeds for 13 years, the report said. The director and deputy director of the bureau are now under investigation and have been suspended from their posts. Bureau officials are also being required to visit cargo vehicle owners who paid the illegal fees and apologize to them, according to a decision by Zhangqiu discipline authorities.
Since its opening, the center has imposed a service fee of 250 yuan ($40) a year on every cargo vehicle owner who applies for a transportation license from the bureau. Vehicle owners have sued the center three times in a local court, which late concluded that the service fees are illegal and called on the transportation bureau to correct its behavior. The bureau ignored the court ruling and continued to collect the money illegally.
After being exposed by Qilu Evening News, the Zhangqiu government formed a panel led by the head of Zhangqiu Commission for Discipline Inspection and charged it with the task of investigating the transportation bureau. Several officials at the transportation service center have been dismissed.
Hong Kong: More Taxi Drivers Press for Gas Price Surcharge (2012-03-31)
About 50 taxi drivers drove their taxis and surrounded a dedicated LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) filling station in Wan Chai on Friday to press demands for a fare surcharge to cover the high and climbing cost of LPG fuel. The action was initiated by Motor Transport Workers General Union. The union threatens to besiege all 12 dedicated LPG filling stations acrossHong Kong if they are not permitted to impose the fuel surcharge — saying many drivers are earning less than the minimum wage.
The action by urban taxi drivers came a day after taxi drivers from theNewTerritoriesmade a similar demand and threatened to strike. They complained about profiteering by oil companies and the government’s inaction on surging fuel costs.
To Sun-tong, director of the Motor Transport Workers General Union, said the union’s Shenzhen counterpart was allowed to levy a fuel surcharge because of the rise of fuel prices a week ago, but Hong Kongdid not give any clear response to the appeal here. The union said due to the rising LPG prices, the income of the drivers has been reduced by about 30%. Besides, there are only 12 gas stations around the city making it inconvenient to drivers, who have to queue up for one hour to get refill.
As prescribed under the design, build and operate contracts between the operators and the government, LPG ceiling prices at dedicated filling stations are adjusted every six months.
Owing to the surge of gas price, many more LPG vehicles are refueling at the 12 dedicated stations because of lower charges than those at the 41 non-dedicated stations in town.
To point out that the gas price has increased about 40% from the previous HK$4.64 to HK$6.42 per liter. He added these dedicated LPG filling stations have exemptions from land fees, and acquired abundant profits as a result of the soaring gas prices.
The union asked these stations to abandon the high prices and appealed to the government to levy the fuel surcharge, adding more dedicated gas stations to resolve the queuing issue for drivers. It also said the government could give a subsidy to drivers by bringing the gas price to around HK$5, a reduction of about HK$1, if it was not willing to levy the fuel surcharge.
If the appeal is not addressed, the union said they would besiege all 12 dedicated LPG filling stations acrossHong Kong. The Transport and Housing Bureau is paying attention to the LPG price rise and its impact on drivers and also discussed some plans to adjust the taxi charges. It hopes to take into account the needs of different operators in the industry and the capacity of the citizens, said a spokeswoman.
Wong Kwok-hing, a lawmaker from the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions, said the government should respond to the demand due to the continuing rise of the international LPG price, and should have more communications with drivers’ association.
Fuel Price Hike Drags Car Market Downwards (2012-03-26)
In addition to a slowing economy, the latest fuel price hike will add more downward pressure on the car market this year, according to industry analysts.
The nation’s top economic planner, the National Reform and Development Commission, raised fuel prices by 600 yuan to 9,980 yuan per metric ton for gasoline and 9,130 for diesel fuel on March 20 following continuing increases in the cost of crude oil. It was the biggest increase in government-controlled fuel pricing since June 2009 and boosted average retail prices for gasoline and diesel to record highs of more than 8 yuan per liter. Six weeks ago, the NDRC raised fuel prices by 300 yuan per ton.
“Two price increases in two months is a significant raise,” said Zeng Zhiling, director of LMC Automotive Asia Pacific Forecasting. “It will certainly have negative impact on the car market, especially on the small, low-end vehicle segment where buyers are more sensitive to price changes,” he said. But demand for high-end and luxury cars won’t be as affected, he added.
Zhang Yu, director of industry consultancy Automotive Foresight (Shanghai) Co Ltd, agreed that the price rise will hit consumer confidence, especially for those who buy small, economic vehicles made by domestic carmakers. “The market share for domestic brands might continue to slide this year,” Zhang said.
Due to a late start in manufacturing and lack of advanced technologies, Chinese carmakers mainly produce small cars with low profit margins. They sold about a third of the cars purchased inChinalast year, with foreign-branded vehicles made at Sino-foreign joint ventures comprising the majority of the market. As sales stalled last year following explosive growth in 2009 and 2010, homegrown brands were the most impacted and saw their market share squeezed further.
In the first two months of this year, sales of domestic-brand cars dropped 16.9% over a year earlier as the overall market declined by 6%, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. As a result, the market share for indigenous brands fell by more than 1 percentage point since the new year began.
Gu Xianghua, deputy secretary general of CAAM, said total vehicle deliveries in Chinathis year might not increase by even 5% in the difficult economic environment, according to a Bloomberg report last week. “The slowing economy will make it difficult to secure loans for commercial vehicles, while restrictions on car ownership in Beijing and vehicle operating costs for fuel and parking fees are increasing,” the report quoted Gu as saying. “All these factors will have an impact on car buying in China.”
China Explores Possibilities of Low-Carbon Future (2012-03-26)
As Chinatunes down its growth expectations, the Asian economic powerhouse is trying to leave itself more room to improve the way in which it grows, and a low-carbon economy is certainly among its major goals.
With the country’s lawmakers and political advisors gathering to discuss future plans and possibilities,Chinahas presented its determination to further reduce emissions and give shape to a new low-carbon scheme. “We will show the world with our actions thatChinawill never seek economic growth at the expense of its ecological environment and public health,” said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in a government work report delivered duringChina’s annual legislative session.
Carbon emission trading would be one of the major steps, as in Wen’s report, the Premier pledged to start trials of such a trade system and a cap-and-trade scheme for pollution rights, and move faster toward establishing “a compensation mechanism for ecological damage.” A pilot scheme for carbon emission rights trading already launched last year in 7 Chinese municipalities and provinces — Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Hubei, Shenzhen and Guangdong — with a view to expanding it nationwide if the tests proved successful.
“The trading is an important means to boost energy conservation and emission reduction,” said Lu Xiulu, a local economic planning official in the southernGuangdongprovince and a deputy to the National People’s Congress (NPC), the country’s top legislature. The official said carbon trading can helpChinarealize its emission reduction targets, as well as encourage further green initiatives being incorporated into the country’s economic development and the coordination of regional modernization.
Chinahas pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40 to 45% by 2020 compared to 2005 levels. But Lu noted that China‘s major challenge at the moment is the establishment of emission rights, and the establishment of a trading system.
Lawmakers and political advisors have also eyed the formation of a government-led platform for international climate trading. Zhang Jiao, a political advisor from the China National Democratic Construction Association, said China should develop futures and options products for greenhouse gas emission rights that could be tradable in international markets. “China currently has several bourses for climate trading, but they lack a standardized trading mechanism,” said Zhang.
Zhang Shouquan, a political advisor from Beijing, has proposed more fiscal and taxation support for emission reduction, further reform of energy pricing mechanisms, and establishment of funds to encourage the application of low-carbon technologies and projects.
Chinawould also employ both traditional and high-tech measures, like tree planting and low-carbon buildings. InChina, more than 92 million mu (6.13 million hectares) of land was planted with trees last year. These trees absorbed a total of 1.8 tons of carbon dioxide and produced more than 1.6 tons of oxygen in the period, said Chen Jiadong, a local forestry official fromFujianprovince and an NPC deputy.
Cao Hongming, a political advisor from the China Public Interest Party, is a strong supporter of low-carbon buildings. Promoting the use of these buildings would ensure the healthy development ofChina’s property market, as they can reduce pollution and save energy, land use, water and construction materials, Cao said.
But despite all these efforts, China, as the world’s largest developing country, would stick to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities’ and play a constructive role in promoting the progress of international climate change negotiations, said Sheng Lianxi, a political advisor. “Chinahas a clear-cut attitude on environmental issues, that we would actively participate in the global biological diversity protection and air pollution control,” said Sheng.
China‘s energy use per unit of GDP dropped 19.1% between 2006 and 2010, while energy-saving efforts helped reduce emission of carbon dioxide by 1.5 billion tons and saved the equivalent of 630 million tons of coal.
Former Energy Chief Calls for Policy Support on Solar, Wind Energy (2012-03-26)
China’s former energy chief on Saturday said more policy support is needed to promote the use of solar and wind power in the Chinese market.
Government authorities should take actions to lower prices of renewable power and ensure profits of energy equipment producers, said Zhang Guobao, former head of China’s National Energy Administration, at a press conference on the sidelines of the country’s annual legislative sessions.
“China’s solar power market has not taken off,” said Zhang, citing figures that the installed capacity of solar power totaled only 2.2 million kilowatts, compared with that of 450 million kilowatts of all the electricity generators nationwide.
Zhang contributed solar power’s low popularity to a high price, which is currently set at 1.15 yuan (0.18 U.S. dollars) per kilowatt-hour, while that of wind power was 0.57 yuan. “This means the government needs to provide more subsidies,” he said.
Meanwhile,China’s wind power is witnessing a sound development, according to Zhang. A total of 73.3 billion kilowatt hours of electricity have been generated from wind power fields inChinalast year, which helped save about 30 million tons of standard coal.
But with more competitors entering the market, wind power equipment is sold at a very low price, which lowered the profit margin of manufacturers despite the reduction of the costs of power generation, he said. The government should pay attention to these problems and provide solutions in future plans, said Zhang.
EU Sees Chance for Deal on CO2 Curbs (2012-03-27)
The European Union sees a “window of opportunity” for reaching a global deal on aviation carbon-emissions curbs by the start of next year, said Joao Vale de Almeida, EU ambassador to theUnited States.
The inclusion of flights to and from EU airports in the European emissions trading system as of this year triggered opposition from countries including the US, China and Russia, which said Europe should let the United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO, decide on greenhouse-gas limits for the industry. “We remain fully committed to an international deal,” Vale de Almeida said at the European Policy Centre inBrussels on Monday. “Things have started again in the ICAO because there is the regulation inEurope, and we are happy about that.”
The 27-nation EU, which wants to lead the global fight against climate change, decided in 2008 that aviation should become as of 2012 a part of its cap-and-trade plan. Airline carbon-dioxide discharges in the region doubled over two decades and international organizations failed to enact pollution curbs.
The UN aviation body is now considering four possible market mechanisms to tackle greenhouse-gas pollution, ICAO President Roberto Kobeh said earlier this month. The organization’s 190 members may make a final decision at a meeting in September or October next year, he said.
TheUSis now “fully engaged” in the process, according to Vale de Almeida. He also reiterated the EU won’t back down on its carbon curbs for aviation before a global deal is in place. “We cannot suspend legislation like that, as you well know,” he said.
The EU can replace its emissions trading system with a global measure to cut pollution from the industry as long as the broader program is as ambitious as the European plan, the bloc’s Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said last month.
Airbus SAS Chief Executive Officer Tom Enders on Sunday called upon the EU to freeze the bloc’s carbon limits on aviation for “a year or two” to win time and set global rules on the matter. The company is at risk of having a “significant number” of planes not delivered intoChinaamid protests by the country’s carriers against the program, Enders said.
China’s aviation regulator has signaled that it hasn’t forbidden the nation’s airlines from buying Airbus planes. Airlines are encouraged to buy planes based on costs savings and increasing reliability and safety, Li Jiaxiang, director of the Civil Aviation Administration of China, said in an interview inBeijingon March 10.
Aviation Bio-Fuel: China Exports Processed Waste Oil to Netherlands (2012-03-26)
A cargo ship carrying 20 tons of processed waste oil leftQingdaoport of easternShandongprovince for theNetherlandsMonday morning.
This is the first batch of China’s oil refined from leftover cooking oil to be exported and the products will be further processed into aviation fuel for the Royal Dutch Airlines. Royal Dutch Airlines became the world’s first airline company which adopted bio-fuel in June 2011.
The Qingdao-based Fresh Bio-Energy Technology Development Company Ltd sold the oil to SkyBRG, a Dutch bio-fuel supplier, said Zheng Dehua, deputy general manager of the Chinese company.
“The ‘non-edible oil’ will become bio-diesel oil after the second process. Due to higher costs and other factors, the Dutch company did not purchase our final products,” Zheng said.
The Qingdao-based company produced the oil by combining waste oil and fat, including “gutter oil,” or discarded cooking oil, after pre-treating and distilling the substances, an earlier report quoted Zheng as saying. The company has a capacity to annually produce 50,000 tons of biodiesel from gutter oil, according to Zheng.
Nation Gets Serious about Seatbelt Use (2012-03-29)
Traffic authorities have mounted a campaign to get people to use seatbelts to reduce fatalities on the road. A campaign initiated by three central government agencies requires that all commercial motor vehicles that use expressways have seatbelts installed.
Currently, only 30% of commercial motor vehicles of passenger transport have seatbelts, according to the Ministry of Transport, one of the organizers. The campaign, lasting through the end of the year, will also include educating the public on passengers’ better chance of surviving crashes when they wear seatbelts.
Seatbelt use will be checked on long-haul buses before they can depart. Inspections by the ministries of transport and public security will also check vehicles on highways. No penalties have been set yet for not using seatbelts. The campaign follows a string of fatal road accidents.
Last year, there were two deadly road accidents that each killed more than 30 people, something that “has not happened in years”, Feng Zhenglin, deputy minister of transport, said at a televised announcement of the seatbelt initiative on Wednesday. In the first three months of this year, there were five road accidents that killed more than 10 people each.
“We used to organize short-term inspections and accidents caused by vehicle overloading or driver fatigue were reduced, but many lasting problems have not been addressed,” he said. Those problems include that many long-haul bus drivers have no strong awareness of safety, and many vehicles lack safety equipment such as seatbelts. Also, “passengers basically have no consciousness that they should wear a seatbelt,” he said.
A survey by Auto Safety Exhibition China Tour 2009 inwhich 1,081 visitors were polled in major cities showed that only 21% of the surveyed wore seatbelts whenever they were in a moving car, and 24% never wore seatbelts. The other 55% used seatbelts at times. Some people would wear seatbelts only when they were driving, when they were on an expressway or when traffic police were around. Of those people, most would not use seatbelts if they were in the rear seat.
A long-haul bus driver who works betweenBeijingandHebeiprovince said that most passengers decline to wear seatbelts because “it makes them feel constrained and uncomfortable”. Because of that, many passengers on buses that had serious accidents died when they could have survived, experts said.
In China, the number of deaths and of injuries from road accidents are close to the same, while in developed countries the death toll is only 2% of the injured, according to official statistics. Read the full story at the link below:
China’s Port Operators Face the Daunting Challenge of Change (2012-03-30)
It has been a good decade for Chinese ports. Having focused on capacity expansion, productivity improvement and investment in equipment, they now account for 5 of the world’s top 10 container ports by volume, withShanghairecently takingSingapore’s top spot.
But this dominance could come under threat if these ports fail to prepare for a wave of change that has started to sweep the region. Like other players in the industry acrossAsia, Chinese ports will soon be forced to reassess their business models at a time when they need to make further investments in infrastructure.
Over the next five years the uncertainty generated by the pace of US economic recovery and the recentEuropecredit crisis will continue to have an impact. This will take place against the backdrop ofChina’s policy of reducing the GDP reliance on international trade, while a continuing rise in wages in coastal areas will drive the manufacturing base inland.
All of this creates a challenge for port operators as they deal with new cargo flow and redefined catchment areas. In addition, customers’ financial positions are under huge pressure and they will begin to drive down the charges terminal operators levy.China’s ports, despite their size, are not immune to these risks.
These factors will force port operators to focus on management capability, rather than on just expanding capacity, if they are to consolidate their position and even capture new volume. This could drive the adoption of analytics, shared services and newer technologies in order to consolidate their leadership positions and fight off more nimble rivals. Read the full story at the link below:
Engineer Defends High-Speed Rail Technology (2012-03-31)
A Chinese engineer recently defended the country’s high-speed railway technology, dismissing safety concerns regarding the world’s biggest high-speed rail network.
“China’s current high-speed railway technology can prevent head-on and rear-end collisions,” Wang Mengshu, chief engineer of the China Railway Tunnel Group, said during an interview with China Economic Weekly, a magazine affiliated with the state-run People’s Daily newspaper.
China’s high-speed railways have come under scrutiny in recent months following a deadly train collision that killed 40 people in eastChinalast July. Wang said management failures such as insufficient training for operators were the major safety problems. “A lack of training left operators at a loss when faced with a possible accident,” the engineer said.
Wang rejected suggestions that the railway network has expanded too fast, stating that the total length ofChina’s railways adds up to91,000 km, just a third of the total length in theUS.
The engineer warned against halting high-speed railway construction, as it could cause significant job losses. Railway construction has generated jobs for more than 6 million migrant workers and stimulated the growth of the steel, cement and other raw material sectors, according to Wang.
The government has set a goal of building 120,000 km of railways by 2020. Wang said that in order to meet the target, authorities must invest 600 billion yuan annually in railway construction.
However, the Ministry of Railways announced in December that it plans to invest 400 billion yuan in railway infrastructure construction in 2012, down from 469 billion yuan in 2011 and a marked decrease from over 700 billion yuan in 2010.
Volvo Expands CO2 Reduction Scheme (201-03-26)
Company plans to cut carbon dioxide output by 30 million tons by 2014. Construction Equipment and Volvo Buses have joined the Volvo Group’s cooperation with the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) Climate Savers program, pledging to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 30 million tons from construction equipment, buses and trucks through 2014.
Shandong Lingong Construction Material Co, which is a Volvo joint venture, also became the first Chinese company to become part of this global carbon emission reduction campaign.
Volvo’s Chief Executive Officer Olof Persson said the partnership demonstrates the company is serious about continuously raising carbon emission reduction targets and the vision for carbon-neutral future transportation.
“The Volvo Group became the world’s first auto manufacturer to join WWF Climate Savers in November with a commitment to reduce the lifetime carbon emissions of its trucks sold between 2009 and 2014 by 13 million tons compared with 2008 models,” said Jim Gradoville, WWF China country representative. Thanks to improved fuel efficiency, the goal has now been increased to 30 million tons and will include the company’s buses and construction equipment. 30 million tons is the same amount of carbon dioxide emitted bySweden in its entirety in seven months.
Started in 2000 by WWF, the Climate Savers program provides a platform to enable companies to join forces in committing to more ambitious reductions in their greenhouse gas emissions while growing their businesses responsibly. “The idea of the program is to work with leaders in a certain industry, helping them to identify how they can reduce carbon emissions without hurting their business growth, so that others in the industry can follow suit,” said Gradoville. The Climate Savers’ commitments are based on absolute emission reduction targets and ambitious timetables. Progress towards these targets is monitored and verified by independent third-party experts, he said.
The Chinese government has set a nationwide target to reduce its carbon intensity – the carbon emissions for each unit of economic growth – by 17% between 2011 and 2015. Subsequently, Chinese enterprises, especially the country’s top 1,000 energy consumers, are also subject to carbon intensity reduction targets. That means the absolute amount of carbon emissions can still grow as carbon intensity drops because China is still experiencing a high economic growth rate.
“But the target for the Climate Saver program is different. It is a cut in absolute carbon emissions,” said Chen Xin, also from the WWF, “So it would be a really aggressive carbon reduction commitment for Chinese enterprises.
“We understand such targets can be extremely difficult to pursue for top Chinese energy consumers, such as the power sector and cement industry, so we are looking for potential partners with relatively low levels of emission, such as companies in the banking sector or the technology sector, and gradually expanding our program into other fields,” she said.
Daimler and BYD Launch New Electric Car Brand (2012-03-31)
BYD Daimler New Technology Co Ltd, the 50-50 joint venture between German automaker Daimler AG and Chinese battery and car producer BYD Co, released a new brand for its battery-electric vehicles on Friday, joining the fierce competition inChina’s rising new energy vehicle sector.
The first show car under the new brand DENZA, will debut at the upcomingBeijing auto show in April, said the two companies. They also said that DENZA electric cars, due to launch in 2013, are expected to be a leader in the new energy vehicle sector inChina.
“BYD and Daimler have been visionaries in the development of sustainable mobility and new technologies. We are at the forefront inChinaas the first company to form a joint venture for the development of a pure electric vehicle, and we’re continuing our pace forward with this landmark event today,” said Ulrich Walker, chairman and CEO of Daimler Northeast Asia and chairman of the Board of Shenzhen-based BDNT.
The technology joint venture was established in 2010, with an initial investment of 600 million yuan ($95 million). “BYD provides experience in battery technology and e-drive systems, as well as bringing electric vehicles into operation on the streets of China. Coupled with Daimler’s design of premium autos, know-how in electric vehicle architecture and safety, and more than 125 years of experience in automotive excellence, DENZA is on the right track to be the leader in the green vehicle market in China,” said Wang Chuanfu, chairman and president of BYD and a member of the board of directors of BDNT.
With rapid economic growth, increased urbanization, open-minded consumers, and a supportive government, all the elements are in place to makeChinaone of the countries with the highest potential for electric vehicle adoption.
China, the world’s biggest automobile market, plans to become a leader in the new- energy vehicle sector in the next 10 years, with government funding of 100 billion yuan. By 2020, it aims to have annual sales of 5 million new -energy vehicles. Under the country’s 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), China intends to have an annual production capacity of 1 million new-energy vehicles, with pure-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles accounting for 50%.
SAIC Motor Corp,China’s biggest automaker by revenue, also entered the new electric vehicle research and development sector with itsUSpartner General Motors Co. The two sides made an equal investment in a strategic project last September to develop a new production platform, for electric vehicles inChina. The vehicles are expected to be sold first inChinaunder the Shanghai GM and SAIC brands. The two companies will also use the architecture to build electric vehicles worldwide.
German automaker Volkswagen AG also said that it plans local production of electric vehicles inChinastarting in 2014, though it hasn’t disclosed further details.
And Swedish luxury car brandVolvoABtold China Daily earlier that it is considering mass-producting of its electric C30 cars inChina, with the timetable depending on government policies and infrastructure construction for electric vehicles.