China’s Shenzhen will only allow fully EVs for ride-hailing in alternative EV push

The Middle Kingdom is finding alternative measures to boost EV sales in a post-subsidy era.

Photo: Shutterstock

Shenzhen, the coastal city in China’s southern Guangdong province, just issued a new rule enjoining that only privately owned fully electric vehicles would be registered for ride-hailing, according to a regulation posted Tuesday on the city’s government website.

The move comes less than two weeks after Guangzhou, the capital city of Guangdong, has started implementing similar rules.

Currently, a total of 58,000 vehicles are registered in Shenzhen as the ride-hailing vehicles as a complement to taxis.

Shenzhen government also planned in May 2018 to phase out all gasoline-fueled taxis by the end of last year, according to its municipal website. However, there is no public information on how far along that goal has been.

The Chinese manufacturing hub’s new requirement could signal that local governments are now counting on the ride-hailing business to chug towards the goals of their EV pushes. Beijing decided to cut subsidies for EV buyers by 50% in June this year and cancel all subsidies in 2020.

Accordingly, local governments have paused their subsidies since late June and started resorting to other measures to support the EV sector, such as improving the infrastructures including charging stations.

China’s new energy sector is feeling the immediate chill on the heels of the new subsidy policies.

The sales of new energy vehicles (NEVs), including fully EVs, hybrid EVs, and fuel cell vehicles, were down 4.7% and 15.8% year-on-year in July and August, respectively, with 80,000 and 85,000 units being sold, according to data of China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.