Under the current regulatory framework, there are no rules governing
the production and sale of EVs with top speeds below 100
kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour). The result has been a
proliferation of cheap, poorly made EVs powered by polluting lead
batteries that pose a threat to road safety and the environment, the
Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a
statement on its website.
The government will legalize manufacturers that meet the standards
governing EV startups and regulate them under those requirements, while
enacting technical specifications for the rest, the ministry said. Those
that don¡¯t meet the new benchmarks, which are under discussion, will be
closed down, according to the statement.
¡°The move will force existing electric vehicle makers to speed up
product development and compete for consumers,¡± said Cui Dongshu,
secretary general of the China Passenger Car Association. ¡°It is great
news for low-speed electric car makers as they can finally make cars
In China¡¯s Shandong province alone, more than 330,000 of these
unregulated low-speed EVs were sold in the first eight months of this
year, more than the 245,000 officially approved new-energy vehicles
delivered across the country in the same period, according to auto
In taking steps to legalize an industry that¡¯s been growing rapidly
despite regulatory ambiguity, the government will boost market leaders
Shandong Shifeng Group Co., as well as startups like
Chehejia, whose founder Li Xiang started China¡¯s leading car-buying
portal Autohome Inc.
¡°On one hand, low-speed electric cars meet certain short-distance
travel demand, while on the other hand products made by the companies
that have been producing without permission have poor quality and low
safety performance,¡± the ministry said. ¡°We will continue to work with
other government agencies to speed up introduction of relevant
regulatory measures and push forward development of the low-speed
China has been issuing production licenses to newcomers to the
auto-making industry as part of its push to encourage innovation.
Companies from Internet video billionaire Jia Yueting¡¯s Le Holdings Co.
to startup WM Motor, founded by a former top executive of Zhejiang Geely
Holding Group Co., have raised billions of dollars in a bid to enter
the world¡¯s biggest auto market, including for electric vehicles.
Beijing CH-Auto Technology Co., which started designing cars in 2003,
became the latest startup to
win an electric car production license this month, following Beijing
Electric Vehicle Co. and Hangzhou Changjiang Passenger Vehicle Co.
China¡¯s government is considering limiting the number of startup EV
makers to a maximum of 10.