A top Chinese official says the government is pushing ahead a plan to ban cars that run on fossil fuel and is instead encouraging the application of electric vehicles.
Xin Guobin, China’s vice minister of Industry and Information Technology, was quoted by media as saying that the move would profoundly affect the path of the country’s auto industry.
“Many countries have adjusted development strategies. Some countries have worked out a timetable to stop production and sales of traditional-fuel vehicles,” Xin told an auto forum in the northern city of Tianjin.
“Now the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has launched a study as well, and will work with related departments on a timetable for our country,” he added.
The move is seen as part of China’s efforts to curb air pollution in the country which is considered as one of the worst in the world.
Accordingly, the government is expected to force engine makers and car companies to pivot away from fossil fuels, speeding the implementation of electric vehicles in a bid to meet global climate standards laid out in the 2016 Paris Accords, Bloomberg reported.
World’s auto industries are expecting that the Chinese car electrification plan would lead to a dramatic shift in the market given that the country’s consumers represent the largest car-buying population on Earth.
To the same effect, they are already preparing to respond to what could be a revolutionary industrial move by the Chinese government.
Honda will introduce an electric car to Chinese buyers in 2018, according to Honda China COO Yasuhide Mizuno, in cooperation with Chinese business
entities Guangqi Honda and Dongfeng Honda, creating a new brand, Bloomberg added.
Other automakers and investors have quickly followed suit.
Chinese startup automaker Nio will begin selling its ES8 battery-powered SUV as soon as mid-December, according to a company statement.
Nio is collaborating with the Chinese state-owned Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group, which itself is currently involved with Volkswagen to introduce an electric SUV in China as early as 2018, according to reports.