China's industry ministry is developing a timetable to end production and sale of traditional fuel cars and will promote development of electric technology, state media on Sunday cited a Cabinet official as saying.
In July, Britain said it would ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2040 to cut pollution, replicating plans by France and cities such as Madrid, Mexico City and Athens.
According to Xinhua, China's official news agency, Xin Guobin, the vice minister of industry and information technology, said the measures will bring profound changes for the country's vehicle industry development.
Xin Guobin, China's vice industry minister, said it had started "relevant research" but that it had not yet decided when the ban would come into force, BBC reports. In the first seven months of this year, 204,000 electric vehicles were sold in China and Ford has predicted that demand for electric vehicles in the country will reach 6m a year by 2025. But automakers are already responding to this rising trend with expanded EV model lineups and, in the case of Volvo for instance, plans to eventually sell exclusively all-electric or hybrid cars.
Xin said the domestic auto industry faced "turbulent times" over the years to 2025 to make the switch towards new energy vehicles, and called on the country's car makers to adapt to the challenge and adjust their strategies accordingly.
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.
On June 13, the MIIT released a policy document for public opinion on fuel consumption control and new energy vehicle credits, requiring auto-makers to meet a new energy credit ratio of 8 percent in 2018, 10 percent in 2019, and 12 percent in 2020, to ease pressure on energy and environment.
China's timeline for establishing this ban will be crucial in terms of how quickly we see the global shift to EVs occur, as it's going to be an vast lever in terms of automaker strategic planning internationally, as well as in the country.