Will China stop producing fuel-consuming vehicles?

Updated 2017-09-11 10:30:48 CGTN

Xin Guobin, vice minister of China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) revealed on Saturday that as new energy vehicles (NEVs) experience fast development, China will set a deadline to stop the sale of gas-powered automobiles while pushing companies to speed up efforts to produce electric vehicles for the world's biggest auto market.

"The ministry has begun studying the industry and will begin making a timeline for when the country will stop making and selling gas-powered automobiles," said Xin.

"The measures will help propel profound changes in our country's automobile industry," Xin said at an international forum on the industry's development in Tianjin over the weekend.

China has become the world's largest producing and consuming market of NEVs since 2015, according to MIIT. The International Energy Agency says China accounts for more than 40 percent of total electric cars sold worldwide.

Carl Benz in 1886 submitted a patent for his motor car which is powered by a gas engine, marking the birth of modern automobiles. It has changed the way of mobility throughout today, but that trend is being re-written by zero emission vehicles.

China isn't the only one planning to ban gas-powered cars, auto giant country Germany's federal council, the Bundesrat, had already passed a resolution calling for a ban on combustion fossil fueled cars.

Now India, France, Britain, and Norway have all planned to ditch diesel cars in favor of cleaner vehicles.

For Britain, all automobiles on the road will need to have zero emissions by 2050. For France, the government says it wants to ban sales of gas powered vehicles by the end of 2040.

For India, the government said that every car sold in India should be powered by electricity by 2030. For Norway, the country's plan on improving the environment is even sooner. All new passenger cars and vans sold should have zero emissions by 2025.

China has toughened up on subsidies given to NEV buyers and makers, but that does not signal cooling sales of the NEV market. "The market will play the driving force, not the government," said Wu Wei, Director of the Industry Coordination Department of the National Development and Reform Commission.

"The goal is having companies drop dependence on subsidiaries, so they can face market competition," Wu said.

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