China eyes ban on petrol vehicles

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China's fossil fuel-powered vehicles may be facing elimination in the world's second-largest economy with one key official saying that the country is planning to set a deadline to end their sale there.

Xin Guobin, vice minister of the ministry of industry and information technology, did not say when the world's largest vehicle market would implement such a ban.

With an enormous population and industrial output, China's plan to ban fossil fuel vehicle sales in the near future could be game-changing.

The UK revealed in July that it plans to stop the sale of fossil fuel cars by 2040, but Scotland insisted it was going to one-up the central government in London by announcing a ban by 2032.

China produced and sold more than 28 million vehicles a year ago, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.

He also predicted "turbulent times" for vehicle makers in the world's largest automobile market if they did not adapt to change.

Song Qiuling, 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.

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China is looking to join the growing number of countries setting bans in place for vehicles that run on fossil fuels. As a broad report from analyst firm RethinkX put it in May, vehicle companies could be looking at "total disruption" of the traditional auto industry as early as 2021.

The Japanese carmaker is developing the vehicle with Chinese joint ventures of Guangqi Honda Automobile and Dongfeng Honda Automobile, and will create a new brand with them, he said.

The global auto industry is leaning toward intelligent and electric vehicles, Xin Guobin, vice industry minister, told the forum in Tianjin.

Volvo will introduce its first 100-per cent electric auto in China in 2019, while Ford will market its first hybrid vehicle in early 2018.

Chinese-owned Volvo recently announced it will produce only electrified drivetrains - in hybrid, plug-in and BEV form - for all new models launched in 2018 and beyond.

The Chinese government wants 5 million electric cars on the country's roads by 2020.

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