China bans sale of 553 cars

From one of the worst polluters in the world, to a strong voice in the fight against air pollution. As the world greeted the new year, China has banned the production and sale of 553 car models because it does not meet the government’s tough new fuel consumption and emissions standards.

Although the complete list of 553 vehicles isn’t available, a report by Bloomberg News says that at least one Audi, one Mercedes-Benz, and one Chevrolet model are included.

Identified in the list are the Audi FV7145LCDBG, Chevrolet SGM7161DAA2 sedan, and Mercedes-Benz BJ7302ETAL2 sedan. These are internal code names for the Audi Q3, Chevrolet Cruze, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. In China, these vehicles use older powertrains that don’t meet the new emissions regulations.

China’s hardline stance against air pollution has meant that its capital, Beijing, has seen the biggest improvement in air quality in at least 9 years. It’s actually netted a 20 percent change for the better in 2017. In fact, pollution in India is now deemed worse according to risk consultancy group Verisk Maplecroft. This is followed by Bangladesh and Thailand.

Still, analysts say there is still a lot of work that needs to be done since Beijing and the rest of Northern China sees bouts of smog regularly.

To that end, China has set goals for electric and plug-in hybrid cars to make up at least one fifth (20 percent) of total Chinese auto sales by 2025. They have done so by extending incentives until 2020 for EV and hybrid vehicle buyers. The government is also looking to ban conventional gasoline and diesel-powered cars from plying major cities and roads in the near future.

In the Philippines, the government has taken more concrete steps to address air pollution as well. This includes the full implementation of the Euro 4 emissions standards as well as a revised excise tax system that favors electrified vehicles.