In a bid to reduce air pollution, sales of motorcycles and cars with fossil fuel-powered engines are to be banned in 2035 and 2040 respectively, while buses are to be replaced with electric versions by 2030, the Executive Yuan said yesterday.
The vehicle electrification deadlines, as well as other pollution prevention measures, are part of a “red hazard reduction program” designed to reduce the number of “red alert” air pollution episodes by half by 2019.
“Introducing electric cars and motorcycles is a global trend. We can meet international deadlines [for introducing electric cars and motorcycles] if we import the vehicles from other nations. However, our deadlines allow a practical schedule for Taiwanese manufacturers, especially motorcycle [makers], to meet them,” Premier William Lai (賴清德) said when asked whether the across-the-board electrification could be accelerated.
Photo: Fang Pin-chao, Taipei Times
The nation’s operating power reserve can be boosted to 15 percent by 2019, meaning that there would be enough electricity to power electric vehicles, Lai said.
Environmental Protection Administration Minister Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) said the agency plans to retire 1.5 million motorcycles with two-stroke engines and 90,000 aging diesel trucks and buses by 2019.
The agency is to introduce more stringent emissions requirements by July 2020 targeting vehicles more than 10 years old that would no longer be tied to the emissions standards at the time of their manufacture, Lee said.
As there are about 10,000 buses in the nation, the Ministry of Transportation and Communications said it would provide subsidies of between NT$4 million and NT$6 million (US$133,387 and US$200,080) to replace them with electric buses, which cost between NT$7 million and NT$10 million each.
In a bid to reduce industrial emissions, four state-run businesses — Taiwan Power Co (台電), oil refiner CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油), China Steel Corp (中鋼) and Dragon Steel Corp (中龍鋼鐵) — would be required to meet the most stringent environmental standards in the world, he said, adding that they would have to upgrade power generators and replace coal-fired units with gas-fired ones.
In a bid to reduce ship emissions, vessels in port would next year be required to use onshore power supplies and would be prohibited from using diesel generators, a major contributor to air pollution in port cities, Lee said, adding that at other times, ships would be required to use diesel with a lower sulfur content.
The Council of Agriculture is to subsidize products to accelerate the decomposition of agricultural leftovers that are often burned, such as rice straw, he said.
During peak pollution episodes, power plants in polluted areas would be required to run at a lower capacity as long as the nation’s operating reserves remain above 6 percent, Minister Without Portfolio Chang Ching-sen (張景森) said.
The proposed measures aim to reduce the number of red alert pollution episodes from 997 in 2015 to 499 in 2019.
As of Sunday, there had been 397 red alert episodes recorded this year, a 20 percent decrease from the 2015 level, Lee said.
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
HELPING HAND: Taiwan is ready to help other nations and will not sit idly by while the global fight against the coronavirus continues, President Tsai Ing-wen said Taiwan, as a responsible member of the international community, is to offer humanitarian assistance to nations hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic by sending them masks and medicine, as well as sharing with them an electronic system that the government has been using to track down people that need to be quarantined, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday. With the nation’s daily production having reached 13 million masks and soon to reach 15 million, the government is to donate 10 million masks to medical personnel in nations most severely affected by the coronavirus, Tsai said at the Presidential Office in Taipei. The