China Rolls Out Strict Auto Emission Standards

China has implemented tough new pollution limits for passenger vehicles that would slash their emissions by at least 40% by 2023.

The so-called National VI regulations took effect on July 1 in 15 megacities and major provinces that account for 50% of China’s new-car market, The Nikkei reports. The rules had been scheduled to begin in 2020 but were accelerated to help address major air quality problems in China’s largest urban areas.

Described as more stringent than Europe’s Euro VI standards, the new regulations ban the production, sale and registration of noncompliant new vehicles. The Nikkei says two-thirds of cars made in China in April don’t meet the new standards.

Observers say that moving up the tougher rules is intended in part to thin the ranks of China’s more than 100 domestic carmakers. Many of those manufacturers have limited technological expertise and little cash with which to meet the National VI regulations, according to The Nikkei. It says the manufacturing cost of compliance has been estimated at roughly 1,200 yuan ($175) per vehicle.

Reports suggest that many Chinese consumers delayed purchases of new cars in affected regions until the first wave of National Vi-compliance vehicles went on sale this week. The Nikkei cites one buyer who says the new regulations have slashed the resale value of National V-era cars by more than 10,000 yuan ($1,500).