Economy

GOING ELECTRIC | China mulls petrol vehicle ban

GOING ELECTRIC | China mulls petrol vehicle ban

China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, becoming the biggest market to do so in a move that will accelerate the push into the electric auto market led by companies including BYD Co. and BAIC Motor Corp.

China is the world's largest vehicle market, which gives every change in its policy a huge impact on the global industry.

China's vice industry minister, Xin Guobin, said it had started "relevant research" but that it had not yet decided when the ban would come into force.

"Enterprises should strive to improve the level of energy-saving for traditional cars, and vigorously develop new-energy vehicles according to assessment requirements", he said.

China - the world's second largest oil consumer is planning to ban petrol and diesel run cars.

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

While the government did not give a date for the ban, the announcement drove up the shares of Chinese automakers, with domestic electric auto leader BYD soaring by as much as 7.39 per cent.

By comparison, U.S. companies attempting to make inroads into the Chinese market are failing miserably, with just 738 of EVs sold so far this year out of a total of 2.1m vehicles, including fossil fuel cars.

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He also predicted "turbulent times" for vehicle makers in the world's largest automobile market if they did not adapt to change.

China could soon join the United Kingdom and France in pledging to ban the sale of cars powered exclusively by an internal combustion engine.

Today, China is the world's largest auto market with 35.53 million cars and light vehicles sold domestically in 2016.

The official didn't specify when the ban would be implemented.

Other countries have already announced bans on fossil fuel vehicles. Additionally, UK has also given the same timeline which indicates that China is not going to be the only country to cease the sale of traditional fuel cars.

Not necessarily. While pedestrians and cyclists in pollution-plagued mega-cities may breathe easier around the purring of electric cars, how "green" the vehicles are depends on how clean the manufacturing process was. Both Ford and Mercedes-Benz, for example, have launched new joint ventures in China aimed at producing electric vehicles.

Volvo Cars, owned by Chinese multinational Geely, announced in July that it would only be making electric vehicles from 2019.