China plans to ban petrol and diesel cars

China pushing for electric cars in major market shift  

Xin Guabin, vice minister of industry and information technology, told a forum in the northern city of Tianjin that his colleagues had started "relevant research" and were working on a timetable for a ban in China.

The plan would follow decisions by France and Britain which have announced plans to ban the manufacturing and sales of cars running on traditional fuels.

China could move to ban the sale of conventional petrol and diesel cars in the future, a senior member of the Chinese Government has hinted.

In order to further encourage development of more electric vehicles in the country, the Chinese government is also expected to gradually reduce direct EV subsidies in favour of a "new credit policy" so as to avoid "blind expansion by auto makers", the state news agency said.

China wants electric battery cars and plug-in hybrids to account for at least one-fifth of its vehicle sales by 2025.

The "profound" changes Xin speaks of would certainly be a boon to the Chinese electric vehicle market, which has attracted foreigners like Elon Musk and Warren Buffet.

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Banning the sale of petrol- and diesel-powered cars would have a significant impact on oil demand in China, the world's second-largest oil consumer.

According to Bloomberg, the move by the Chinese government is in a bid to accelerate the drive into an economy exclusively dependent on electric cars and benefit indigenous electric auto companies such as BYD Co. and BAIC Motor Corp. If a ban were to come into effect, it could mean a vast swathe of the world's auto owners could pivot towards zero-emission electric vehicles.

China had already pledged to cap its carbon emissions by 2030, thus helping with its air pollution problem, Bloomberg said.

China's interest in going all-electric reflects a fast-growing global trend towards banning the sales of new internal combustion vehicles. This has already allured a lot of global companies like Ford, VW, Nissan, etc.to form joint ventures with Chinese carmakers. Volvo announced that all its cars will be electric or hybrid from 2019.

China made 28 million cars a year ago, nearly a third of the world's total production.

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