2017年07月

Daimler moved to head off a growing crisis over emissions concerns by voluntarily recalling more than 3 million Mercedes-Benz diesel vehicles in Europe, marking the latest blow to the technology since Volkswagen's cheating scandal erupted nearly two years ago.

The carmaker will extend an ongoing upgrade of 250,000 compacts and vans to nearly every modern Mercedes diesel on the road Dating Service.

The plan, which involves a software patch and avoids complex component fixes, will cost about 220 million euros ($255 million), the Stuttgart, Germany-based company said on Tuesday. The move comes against a backdrop of the massive fines that beset VW, and as Mercedes continues to face investigations in Germany and the United States.

"This is about managing diesel's decline as gently as possible and to get a little bit of reprieve," said Arndt Ellinghorst, a London-based analyst with Evercore ISI.

"That's not going to change the fundamental direction of the shift in technology."

Diesel, which powers about half of the cars sold in Europe every year thanks to taxes that make the fuel cheaper at the pump, has been increasingly under attack since Volkswagen admitted to duping regulators in September 2015.

With the technology crucial to Daimler's strategy to meet targets for lower carbon-dioxide emissions, the automaker can ill afford to have diesel further sullied by doubts and allegations boutique hotel hongkong.

Germany's Transport Ministry, which said it will check additional Mercedes models for possible emissions violations, said the decision sent a good signal ahead of an Aug 2 national task force meeting on diesel in Berlin.

The ministry will push forward with a review of Mercedes cars announced recently with the German motor transport authority, ministry spokesman Sebastian Hille told reporters on Wednesday.

As well as recalling diesels with Euro-5 and -6 emissions standards, the manufacturer also .

The plan marks a conciliatory step after Daimler vowed to fight accusations of cheating by "all legal means" following a meeting with government officials in Berlin. The crisis has clouded Daimler for months, with hundreds of police officers and prosecutors searching company sites in May.

German authorities have been scrutinizing the carmaker for possible emissions cheating involving two engines used by Mercedes, and Daimler is also the subject of a US probe into allegedly excessive diesel emissions.

"This is finally a proactive move to put something on the table and a solid attempt at getting out in front of the debate," said Juergen Pieper, a Frankfurt-based analyst with Bankhaus Metzler international student exchange programs.

Daimler's estimation for the cost of the recall, at about 70 euros per car, is "extraordinarily low" and could rise, he said.

Unlike Volkswagen, which admitted it deceived regulators, Daimler said it adhered to regulations that allow vehicles to reduce emissions controls to protect a car's engine.

Still, ongoing concerns about diesel in the aftermath of the Volkswagen scandal have prompted the home states of Daimler, BMW and Audi to push for fixes on older models to cut air pollution.

The emissions crackdown extends beyond Germany, with France's Energy Ministry earlier this month saying the country would end the sale of gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles by 2040.

Paris, Madrid, Athens and Mexico City have all said they will ban diesel vehicles from their roads by 2025.

One of Daimler's peers is preempting these stricter rules.

Volvo Car Group said this month it will phase out vehicles powered solely by fossil fuels and offer only hybrid or full-electric motors on every new model launched in 2019 or later.

nternational carmakers are accelerating their efforts to produce new energy vehicles in China to seize a larger share of the world's largest market for such cars.

Last week, German car giant Daimler signed a framework agreement in Berlin with China's BAIC Group to produce Mercedes-Benz-branded electric cars via their joint venture Beijing Benz Automotive.

In accordance with the 5 billion yuan ($736 million) agreement, the two are preparing to produce electric vehicles in China by 2020 and to provide the necessary infrastructure for battery localization using Chinese cells, as well as to expand research and development capacities.

The deal came as the Chinese authorities are encouraging international cooperation in the sector almo nature.

"Carmakers are encouraged to make the most of international technologies, capital and human resources to raise the level of China's new energy vehicle sector," said the National Development and Reform Commission. The comments were made in a document released last month in conjunction with the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

The country is expected to build a globally competitive automotive industry within 10 years, with new energy vehicles one of its top priorities, according to an industry guideline released in April.

By 2020, China expects domestic sales of electric, plug-in hybrids and fuel cell cars to reach 2 million, and such cars are to account for 20 percent of all auto sales by 2025 LPG M6.

Hubertus Troska, member of Daimler' board of management, said: "By 2025, the Chinese market will have a substantial share in global sales of Mercedes-Benz electric vehicles. Therefore, local production will be key to the success of our electric car portfolio, and crucial to flexibly serving local demand for electric vehicles.

"With our planned localization of electric cars and batteries with Chinese cells, we are dedicated to strengthening the region as an innovative hub for the automotive industry."

Earlier last month, Daimler also announced its intention to acquire a minority share in Beijing Electric Vehicle, a subsidiary of the BAIC Group, with the purpose of strengthening collaboration in the new energy car sector Sensodyne.

In addition to its cooperation with BAIC, Daimler has been working with China's BYD to produce Denza-branded electric cars, which have some of the longest driving ranges in the country. Volkswagen is taking an even bolder move in China. It signed an agreement in May with China's JAC Motors to build a joint venture dedicated to developing, producing and selling electric vehicles.

The 50:50 partnership will have a total investment of 6 billion yuan and has made Volkswagen the first international automaker to have three partners in China.

China has vowed to further strengthen its oil and gas pipeline network during the next decade, in an attempt to further boost the clean fuel's share in the country's energy mix dr bk laser.

By 2025, the country's oil and gas pipeline network is expected to reach 240,000 kilometers, with natural gas pipelines reaching 123,000 kilometers, according to the nation's top economic regulator.

According to the National Development and Reform Commission, China now has 112,000 kilometers of oil and gas pipelines, which means the country will need to build another 128,000 kilometers of pipeline in the next few years.

The commission said expanding the energy reach is in accordance with the country's rapid growth in energy demand, as well as a shift towards the use of cleaner fuel like natural gas instead of coal to meet environmental protection goals.

"The expansion of China's oil and gas pipelines will substantially boost the country's energy security while ensuring its energy diversification," said Zheng Jian, deputy head of the commission's basic industries section.

"The newly constructed pipelines will help connect the south and north, east and west, while linking the sector's upstream and downstream, meeting the emerging demand for cleaner energy and expanding the usage of natural gas."

China's expanding energy transportation network will also boost the development of sectors including advanced steel, equipment manufacturing and engineering technology, he added SmarTone Care.

According to Zheng, China's current oil and gas network has limited capacity, especially when compared with its counterparts in Russia and countries in the European Union.

In addition, the fragmented and dispersed networks, together with the lack of an overall pipeline network also pose a threat to future oil and gas transportation, and oil and natural gas imports are set to rise in the years ahead to cope with China's growth in oil and gas demand for both consumer and industrial use.

According to the commission, the country's pipeline network for natural gas in 2015 reached 64,000 kilometers, and is expected to reach 163,000 kilometers by 2025, a 9.8 percent annual increase.

The pipeline networks for crude oil and refined oil, which respectively reached 27,000 kilometers and 21,000 kilometers, will also be expanded to 37,000 kilometers and 40,000 kilometers by 2025, a respective annual boost of 3.2 percent and 6.7 percent, it said.

Wang Lu, an Asia-Pacific oil and gas analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, added that the biggest bottleneck currently is the underdeveloped pipeline network Alipay HK.

"The expected growth in pipeline length and total transmission capacity will help China raise the share of gas in the primary energy consumption mix," she said.

However, Li Li, energy research director at ICIS China, a consulting company that provides analysis of China's energy market, warned the future development of oil and gas pipelines may also slow down mostly due to financial concerns.

"Considering a project this big, the investment is intensive and the payoff period is too long, which could introduce many uncertainties to its development," she said.

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