Converted LNG cars banned in China over safety concerns

Converted LNG cars banned in China over safety concerns

The Chinese government has banned conversion of gasoline vehicles into LNG (liquefied natural gas) vehicles, citing safety concerns, a decision which immediately elicited opposition, according to Guangzhou’s 21st Century Business Herald.

In response to the announcement of the ban, made by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (GAQIQ) recently, Liu Yijun, professor at the school of business management at China University of Petroleum, pointed out that the ban will deal a blow to efforts to fight air pollution, as some 600,000-800,000 gasoline cars are being converted into LNG models a year.

The ban is at odds with the policy of promoting LNG cars, Liu said, adding that the government should step up the regulation of conversions instead. As of the end of 2013 there were 4 million LNG cars in the nation, including 3 million converted vehicles, or 80% whose owners can enjoy the benefit of lower fuel costs, according to the Society of Automotive Engineers of China.

In reply to the inquiry, the GAQIQ defended its decision, citing concern over legality, safety, capability of car-conversion service providers, and lack of certification and supervision for conversion devices.

The ban will force large numbers of car-conversion service providers to shut down or switch to other lines, although most of them are legal operations, furnished with licenses issued by local regulators. “Even in some third-tier cities, there are several hundred such conversion stores,” an industry insider said.

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