Fog blankets Jincheng City in northern China’s Shanxi province. Picture: REUTERS
Fog blankets Jincheng City in northern China’s Shanxi province. Picture: REUTERS

Beijing — One of China’s largest state-owned vehicle makers has said it will phase out sales of all petrol vehicles by 2025, as Beijing considers taking all fuel-burning cars off the country’s roads.

Beijing Automotive Group Co (BAIC) chairperson Xu Heyi said at the weekend that the company would phase out sales of conventional cars in Beijing by 2020 and nationwide by 2025, according to the official Xinhua news agency.

The decision only applies to cars the company makes itself and will not affect vehicles it makes in partnership with South Korea’s Hyundai and Germany’s Daimler.

The news comes as Beijing debates a nationwide ban, though a date for entirely eliminating petrol vehicles has yet to be announced.

For now China is wielding both carrots and sticks to compel car makers to produce more fuel-efficient and eventually petrol-free cars as it looks to clean up its smog-choked cities.

Authorities will implement a complex quota system in 2019 requiring makers to produce a minimum number of electric cars.

Beijing originally wanted to start enforcing the rule in 2018, but delayed its implementation by a year after Germany and some foreign firms raised concerns.

But as the new direction has been made clear, foreign vehicle makers have ramped up plans to make electric vehicles in China. Volkswagen is establishing a joint venture with state-owned JAC Motors to make electric vehicles, aiming to get the first electric car to market by 2018.

US car giant Ford envisages that 70% of all its cars available in China will have electric options by 2025. Last week it announced a $756m investment with its Chinese joint venture to produce electric cars.

Volvo plans to introduce its first 100% electric car in China in 2019.

AFP

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