The Impact of RoHS on Electric Vehicles in the Chinese Automotive Market 2016-01-8124
China has become the world’s largest vehicle market in terms of sales volume. Automobiles sales keep growing in recent years despite the declining economic growth rate. Due to the increasing attention given to the environmental impact, more stringent emission regulations are being drafted to control traditional internal combustion engine emissions. In order to reduce vehicle emissions, environmentally-friendly new-energy vehicles, such as electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles, are being promoted by government policies. The Chinese government plans to boost sales of new-energy cars to account for about five percent of China’s total vehicle sales.
It is well known that more electric and electronic components will be integrated into a vehicle platform during vehicle electrification. The Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive 2002/95/EC (RoHS) was first adopted by the European Union (EU), and it restricts the use of six hazardous materials in the manufacture of electronic and electric equipment. More potential hazardous materials are under investigation, and Directive (EU) 2015/863 amends EU RoHS to restrict four new Phthalates. The Chinese Ministry of Information Industry published “Management Methods for Controlling Pollution Caused by Electronic Information Products Regulation”, which is usually referred to as China RoHS 1, in 2006. Although Chinese vehicle emission regulations are very similar to their counterparts in EU, China RoHS was developed entirely separately from EU regulations. For example, China RoHS includes automotive electronics, radar equipment, medical devices, semiconductor and other manufacturing equipment, components and some raw materials. The in-force date and initial requirements of China RoHS are also different from EU RoHS. The first in-force date for China RoHS 1 is March 1, 2007, and the initial requirement of China RoHS 1 is the mark and disclosure of any of the six identified hazardous substances and their locations within the product.
Given the EU RoHS impacts on multiple industries, China RoHS will definitely affect automotive Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), suppliers, dealers and consumers. This paper compares the difference between EU RoHS and China RoHS, and elaborates on the potential technical strategy to substitute the identified hazardous substances and mitigate the risks related to cost, quality and reliability.