China's big electric vehicle push is about to get even bigger: The country is planning to end the sale of fossil fuel-powered vehicles entirely, with regulators working now on a timetable of when the ban will ultimately take effect, according to Bloomberg.
China made 28 million cars previous year, nearly a third of the world's total production.
Xin Guobin, the vice minister of transport in the worlds biggest auto market, told China's official news agency Xinhua "Those measures will certainly bring profound changes for our vehicle industry's development".
"Many countries have adjusted development strategies", said Xin, adding, "Some countries have worked out a timetable to stop production and sales of traditional-fuel vehicles".
The reports of Xin's comments in the eastern city of Tianjin gave no other details about electric auto policy but cited him as saying Beijing plans to "elevate new energy vehicles to a new strategic level".
It is also the largest producer of and market for new-energy vehicles, with more than 500,000 built and sold a year ago. The ministry will work out the timetable, Xin said.
Subsidies will gradually be reduced and a new-energy credit policy introduced, Song said.
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Under the proposed quotas, electric and hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles would have to make up 8 percent of each maker's output next year, 10 percent in 2019 and 12 percent in 2020.
He said the time period up to 2025 will be critical for the auto industry. Automakers that fail to meet their target could buy credits from competitors that have a surplus. "Those measures will certainly bring profound changes for our vehicle industry's development", he said.
Speed is the order of the day, and not only in the vehicles themselves, as automakers responding to the Chinese announcement have been quick to announce shifts in their own strategies.
World's auto industries are expecting that the Chinese vehicle 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.
Chinese automaker BYD Auto, a unit of battery maker BYD Ltd., is the world's biggest electric vehicle maker by number of units sold.
Other global vehicle firms including Renault-Nissan, Ford, and General Motors are all working to develop electric cars in China. The UK and France have said they will ban new petrol and diesel cars from 2040.