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Beijing launches crackdown on low-speed EV production
Automotive News China | 2018/11/13

The Chinese government moved to curb rampant production of low-speed electric vehicles by closing unlicensed manufacturers and halting construction of new plants. 

Provincial governments must shut down unlicensed local low-speed EV makers and stop them from producing at plants of licensed automakers, according to a notice released last week by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the regulator of industries, including automobiles, in China. 

In the notice, the ministry also requires governments at provincial levels to stop approving new plants and halt expansion of existing factories for low-speed EVs in areas under their jurisdiction.

Governments at provincial levels must also set a timeframe to phase out the use of low-speed EVs by local residents through scrappage and government-sponsored buyback programs.

Low-speed EVs mainly refer to short-range, electric three wheelers and cars equipped with technologically obsolete batteries and electric motors, the ministry said in the notice, without disclosing further specifications on the vehicles. 

China is home to more than 100 companies producing low-speed EVs including three wheelers and small cars. The companies combined can produce more than 1 million such vehicles, according to the ministry.  

Low-speed EVs also pose severe safety risks to public safety, the ministry said. In the past five years, the vehicles were responsible for around 830,000 traffic accidents, which resulted in the death of about 18,000 people, according to the ministryí»s tally.

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