China Pushes Ahead With Electric Vehicles Amid Diesel Scrutiny

China’s shunning of diesel cars may turn out to have been a blessing for Volkswagen, as it’s shielded the company from direct backlash in its largest market. The Wolfsburg, Germany-based automaker has counted on the country for about 35 percent of vehicle sales this year and plans to raise local production capacity to 5 million autos by 2019, from 3.5 million in 2014. “The Chinese government has been supporting development of electric vehicles instead of diesel-powered cars,” said Steve Man, a Hong Kong-based analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. “China is critical for Volkswagen and the ban on diesel cars may make China a savior for the company and help preserve the brand’s good reputation in the market.”