China to ban sale of fossil fuel cars in electric vehicle push

Government agencies in Beijing and around the country are working with regulators and businesses to set a timetable for the dramatic shift, seen to be a harbinger of world economic growth, as Chinese consumers represent the largest car-buying market on Earth.

Minister Xin Guobin told Xinhua, China's official news agency, that the policy is aimed to bring 'profound changes for our vehicle industry's development'.

"The ministry has also started relevant research and will make such a timeline with relevant departments".

"These measures will promote profound changes in the environment and give momentum to China's auto industry development", Xin said in remarks broadcast by CCTV state television.

Countries around the world are racing to phase out gasoline and diesel cars.

Currently, there are over one million new energy vehicles on the road, which accounts for half of the world's total. It envisages that 70 per cent of all Ford cars available in China will have electric options by 2025.

Of the roughly 28 million vehicles sold in China a year ago, just over 1% were electric, according to the International Energy Agency.

Last year, China sold three times more electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids than the U.S.

The news comes close off the back of similar plans in France and the United Kingdom, to segue away from fossil fuel-cars and towards electric vehicles.

Xin said any resistance to change will mean "turbulent times" for vehicle companies in coming years.

China plans to elevate new-energy vehicles to a new strategic level. Nicolas Hulot, France's ecology minister, stated that "the conditions are there", even though he didn't elaborate on how this plan would be enforced.

BMW had also announced plans for an electric Mini to be constructed, while Volvo also progressed towards building cleaner cars.

China is looking to join the growing number of countries setting bans in place for vehicles that run on fossil fuels.

A similar deadline has been given by France, leading some to predict that China would also opt for a 2040 cut-off point.


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