BEIJING -- Chongqing Changan
Automobile on Thursday said it would stop selling
combustion-engine cars, starting 2025, and invest more than 100
billion yuan ($15.10 billion) by that time to advance its "new
Chongqing Changan is one of the first Chinese companies to commit to a total phase-out of gasoline-engine vehicles in favor of EVs.
The move comes at
a time when carmakers globally are grappling with Beijing's
plans to shift away from fossil-fuel powered cars to newer, less
polluting technologies -- a shift that is creating one of the
most seismic shifts the automotive industry has gone through.
China, home to the world's largest auto market, has already
set goals for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles to make up at
least a fifth of industry sales by 2025 to help combat air
pollution and close a competitive gap between newer domestic
automakers and their global rivals.
China has begun studying when to ban the production and sale
of cars using traditional fuels, the official Xinhua news agency
said last month, citing comments by the vice industry minister,
who predicted "turbulent times" for automakers forced to adapt
Among other carmakers, Sweden's Volvo, owned by Chinese parent company Zhejiang Geely, plans to stop designing new combustion
engine-only vehicles by 2019.
However, BAIC Motor says it has no timeline
for suspending sales of traditional fuel cars.
The government's claim of studying a timeline for banning
traditional-fueled cars is "challenging" for the company, Xu
Heyi, chairman of BAIC, told Reuters on the sidelines of the
Communist Party Congress.