Going electric: China eyes gasoline and diesel vehicle ban

Beijing shrouded in pollution. China's drive to phase out conventional vehicles is partly aimed at cutting contamination

The country, home to the world's largest auto market, is working on a plan to ban the production and sale of vehicles powered exclusively by fossil fuels, officials say.

The Asian nation, which is the world's largest automotive market, is just one on a growing list of countries considering such a ban.

Guobin added: "These measures will promote profound changes in the environment and give momentum to China's auto industry development". "Those measures will certainly bring profound changes for our auto industry's development".

The latest news follows a flurry of announcements this summer by global auto companies who have revealed plans to phase out production of pure diesel and petrol models, with Volvo, Maserati, and Jaguar Land Rover all pledging to switch to EVs and hybrids.

However, automakers would be required to cease the sale of fossil fuel cars in order to drive more electrified vehicles sales.

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. Sales of electrics and gasoline-electric hybrids rose 50 per cent over 2015 to 336,000 vehicles.

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China is the world biggest market for new cars, by a significant margin, and all projections see sales only growing with time.

Xin said the policy would be implemented "in the near future", according to the official Xinhua news agency.

Qiu Kaijun, an industry observer, holds a different view, believing it will take much longer for China to make the switch, due to its massive market. The latest is Honda which used the Tianjin forum to announce a China-exclusive electric auto.

Beijing Electric Vehicle, the EV division of state-owned BAIC Motor, followed with 36,084 units.

China's interest in going all-electric reflects a fast-growing global trend towards banning the sales of new internal combustion vehicles. Local manufacturers have already begun receiving subsidies for the manufacturing of the electric-powered vehicles according to Bloomberg. India plans to have only electric cars on its roads by 2030, and Norway, who was the first to make such an announcement in June 2016, plans to be selling only electric vehicles by 2025. Renault-Nissan, Ford and General Motors are also developing electric cars.

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