November 25, 2020

Oil, Cars & China~Is the Gas Guzzler Period Officially Over?

It is not small shifts in technology but big moves in governmental policy that will be the last gasp of the gas driven vehicle. As writes

China’s pointed direction to shift completely to electric vehicles will halt 70 percent of global oil demand in the enxt ten years, meaning that the “oil era” is clearly finished.

There’s a secondary reason too: China will no longer spend $80 billion dollars annually importing oil to fuel vehicles, meaning cleaning air and a better bottom line.

I have already written about the fact that SUVs are considered status symbols in China and will likely continue to be popular. China in 2016 produced 28 million vehicles, a big chunk of the 70 million vehicles produced globally.

On January 1st of 2018 China stopped the manufacturing of over 500 different car models including domestic and foreign automobile ventures. The stoppages of ICE (internal combustion engines) vehicle manufacturing  included factories operated by  Volkswagen and Benz.

As the New York Times said at the timethe measure pointed to a mounting willingness by China to test forceful antipollution policies and assume a leading role in the fight against climate change. The country, which for years prioritized economic growth over environmental protection and now produces more than a quarter of the world’s human-caused greenhouse gases, has emerged as an unlikely bastion of climate action after President Trump’s rejection of the Paris climate agreement.”

Estimates suggest that electric vehicles will represent 40 percent of total vehicular sales in ten years in China. The cost of oil import for a typical ICE powered vehicle is ten times that of solar equipment. China has not set a date for banning the sale of ICE vehicles, but it is suggested that electric vehicles will be half of car sales by 2035, with the other half being for hybrid.

Kingsmill Bond with Carbon Tracker stated :This is a simple choice between growing dependency on what has been expensive oil produced by a foreign cartel, or domestic electricity produced by renewable sources whose prices fall over time.”

Here is a PBS YouTube video on the work of NEO, which is producing electric vehicles in China showing the  advancement and design of this next generation of Chinese produced cars.


Posted in


If you love this region and have a view to its future please subscribe, donate, or become a Patron.

Share on


  1. Or…..

    China doesn’t want to rely on foreign oil imprts while they have the world’s third largest coal reserves to power electricity generation. Is that any better?

        1. Canada is a global embarrassment and will soon fall behind China in GDP/carbon emissions.

          Furthermore, the average Chinese person emits just half of what a Canadian does. And much of the emissions attributed to them is in the manufacturing of stuff destined for our consumption. Canadians have been gaining wealth for a century burning fossil fuels in large quantities while the Chinese have only been at it a few decades and have only lately become a real source of global warming.

          Yet some Canadians are so quick to blame the Chinese. Drawing a line around a country with a massive population is a convenient way to shirk our responsibilities. It is arbitrary and irrelevant. Even so, China is cleaning up its economy at twice the rate of Canada and arguably their one child policy did more to curb GHGs than any single national policy anywhere.

          Can you honestly try and tell a Chinese person they must slash their smaller emissions while you don’t?

      1. Even a coal powered car is better than an oil powered car. Electric motors are about 3X more efficient than ICE engines and that overcomes coal’s dirtier footprint where coal is the primary source of electrical power. But nowhere is the grid 100% coal so nowhere is there a purely coal powered car.

        Meanwhile the global grid is getting cleaner by the month while stinky ICE is stinky ICE is stinky ICE.

Subscribe to Viewpoint Vancouver

Get breaking news and fresh views, direct to your inbox.

Join 7,312 other subscribers

Show your Support

Check our Patreon page for stylish coffee mugs, private city tours, and more – or, make a one-time or recurring donation. Thank you for helping shape this place we love.

Popular Articles

See All

All Articles