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China may help hard-hit carmakers by relaxing emissions curbs.

April 3, 2020

China is exploring relaxing some emissions standards to provide relief for automakers battling an unprecedented slump in the world’s largest car market, according to people familiar with the matter and reported March 18, 2020 by Bloomberg.

The discussions involve a key aspect of the China VI rules that are scheduled to go into effect nationwide on July 1, the people said, asking not to be identified because the deliberations aren’t public.

Specifically, Chinese authorities are debating whether to ease restrictions on the amount of harmful particles that vehicles emit from their tailpipes — a measure known as particle number, or PN — the people said.

The move shows how pressure is rising for countries to sacrifice longer-term environmental goals to salvage their economies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. China’s growth was already slowing before the outbreak paralyzed its industries, with carmakers being particularly hard hit, and now economists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. estimate the world’s second-largest economy will shrink 9% in the first quarter.

“With automakers and dealers being under unprecedented pressure, it is necessary for policy makers to relax the emission rules and save the industry,” said Cui Dongshu, secretary general of China Passenger Car Association, a trade body. “It is especially crucial for dealers, as they would face bankruptcy if they can’t lower their inventories.”

A delay would give automakers more time to sell older models that don’t qualify for the new rules from their inventories, which have ballooned amid a prolonged downturn that’s been exacerbated by the spread of the virus. The industry has been calling for a delay because without it, carmakers risk having to scrap or refit millions of vehicles that couldn’t be sold in China under the new rules.

China VI, which has been adopted in parts of the country already but not nationwide, is similar to the Euro 6 standard that’s currently in place in Europe. One of the key changes in the new rules is reducing the maximum permissible PN count, which measures pollutants such as dust, to a 10th of current levels. As things stand now, China would move from a standard known as PN12 to PN11 in July.

But government branches are now discussing postponing the switch to PN11 to a date that’s yet to be determined, the people said. No decision has been made, they said. A delay would also give carmakers more time to reconfigure their production lines and testing processes.

What this means to you
China is exploring relaxing some emissions standards to provide relief for automakers battling an unprecedented slump in the world’s largest car market. The move shows how pressure is rising for countries to sacrifice longer-term environmental goals to salvage their economies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

MIRATECH can help
Contact MIRATECH for stationary engine emission compliance.