China scraps list of recommended car battery suppliers: ministry

Electric cars recharging in China. [Photo: Shutterstock]

China has scrapped its list of recommended battery suppliers, the industry ministry said on Monday (24 June), a decision foreign companies said could open up the world’s biggest market for electric vehicle batteries.

China, the world’s largest new energy vehicle (NEV) market, has seen increased investment from South Korean battery makers LG Chem Ltd and Samsung SDI Co Ltd amid expectations for a gradual change in policy.

The list, which did not include foreign firms when it was first published in 2015 to spur a domestic battery sector, was abolished on Friday (21 June) as part of government management reforms, the ministry said on its website. It gave no further details.

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Foreign makers complained the list discouraged competition and became linked to generous subsidies for recommended domestic companies such as Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) and BYD Co Ltd.

“We are relieved that these lists are going away, but we cannot be certain if the Chinese government is committed to abolish subsidies until they actually remove all subsidy policies,” said an official at one foreign battery maker who declined to be named.

China has raised its standards for new energy vehicles (NEV) that qualify for subsidies and reduced the amount it is willing to provide to relevant companies, as it looks to wean the sector off government support.

Growth in NEV sales has slowed in recent months after growing rapidly in past years.

Germany extends electric vehicle support scheme until 2020

Germany will extend for another year a bonus scheme to encourage people to buy electric cars, Die Welt reported on Thursday (30 May), another sign of Berlin’s eagerness to support a sector in which it lags US and Asian rivals.

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