China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, a move aimed at pushing companies to speed efforts to
help reduce oil consumption and pollution while developing electric
vehicles for the world's biggest auto market.
Xin Guobin, the vice
minister of industry and information technology, did not say when the
ban would be implemented but said the government is working with other
regulators on a timetable to end production and sales.
will have a profound impact on the environment and growth of China's
auto industry, Xin said at an auto forum in Tianjin on Saturday.
countries have made a timeline for when to stop the production and
sales of traditional fuel cars," Xin said. "The ministry has also
started relevant research and will make such a timeline with relevant
departments. Those measures will certainly bring profound changes for
our car industry's development."
Citing "turbulent times" ahead,
Xin called on the country's carmakers to adapt to the challenge and
adjust strategies accordingly.
A ban on combustion-engine vehicles
will help push both local and global automakers to shift toward EVs, a
carrot-and-stick approach that could boost sales of energy-efficient
cars and trucks and reduce air pollution while serving the strategic
goal of cutting oil imports.
To combat air pollution and close a
competitive gap between its newer domestic automakers and their global
rivals, China has set goals for EV and plug-in hybrid cars to make up at
least a fifth of the country's light-vehicle sales by 2025.
government offers generous subsidies to makers of new-energy vehicles.
It also plans to require automakers to earn enough credits or buy them
from competitors with a surplus under a new cap-and-trade program to
boost fuel economy and lower emissions.
New Honda EV
Motor Co. will launch an electric car for the China market in 2018,
China COO Yasuhide Mizuno said at the same forum. The Japanese carmaker
is developing the vehicle with Chinese joint ventures Guangqi Honda
Automobile Co. and Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co. and will create a new
brand with them, he said.
Internet entrepreneur William Li's Nio
will start selling ES8, a crossover powered only with batteries, in
mid-December. The startup is working with state-owned Anhui Jianghuai
Automobile Group, which also is in a venture with Volkswagen AG to
introduce an electric SUV next year.
China, seeking to meet its
promise to cap its carbon emissions by 2030, is the latest country to
unveil plans to phase out vehicles running on fossil fuels. The U.K.
said in July it will ban sales of diesel- and gasoline-fueled cars by
2040, two weeks after France announced a similar plan to reduce air
pollution and meet targets to keep global warming below 3.6 degrees
Madrid, Mexico City and Athens have also introduced plans to phase out fossil fuel-powered vehicles.
the sale of petrol- and diesel-powered vehicles would have a
significant impact on oil demand in China, the world's second-largest
Last month, China National Petroleum Corp., a major
state-owned oil company, said China's energy demand will peak by 2040,
later than the previous forecast of 2035, as transportation fuel
consumption rises through the middle of the century.
a senior finance ministry official, said during Saturday's event that
government subsidies, intended for jump-starting the new energy auto
industry, could easily be abused if held long-term and led to "mindless
expansion" and excess capacity in the sector, Xinhua reported.
said China would gradually withdraw such financial subsidies for the
sector, and instead speed up the establishment of a credits accumulation
policy to support the industry.
Bloomberg and Reuters contributed to this report.