China is considering making plans to ban the production of traditional energy cars gradually by deve
At an auto forum in Tianjin on Saturday, vice-Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Xin Guobin, revealed that authorities are now investigating the creation of a timetable to ban the manufacture and sale of gas and diesel-powered vehicles.
"Some countries have made plans to ban the production and sales of traditional energy cars. At the moment, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has also started to do research and make timetables to touch upon the issue. The move will have a profound impact on the environment and growth of China's auto industry."
So far authorities have not indicated a possible time-frame for the phase-out of gas and diesel powered vehicles.
However, it's been suggested Chinese authorities might be looking at a time-table similar to France and the UK, which intend to have all fuel-driven vehicles off their roads by 2040.
Producing and selling more than 28 million vehicles last year, China has been the world's largest auto market for eight consecutive years.
It is also the largest producer and market for new-energy vehicles, with more than 500-thousand built and sold last year.
An earlier guideline by the State Council says China will build more than 12,000 new charging stations before 2020 to fulfill the demands of over 5 million NEVs.
The government has been promoting new energy vehicles as a way to ease pressure on the environment.
This includes offering electric vehicle subsidies, as well as incentives for both manufacturers and car buyers.
Song Qiuling with the Ministry of Finance notes these subsidies will gradually be reduced, with a market-oriented policy on new energy vehicles set to be introduced.
"At the moment, it is certain that subsidies will be gradually reduced. The Ministry of Finance will work with the Industry and Information Technology ministry and other organizations to promote the new energy credit policy and continue marketization efforts."
Under a new set of proposed quotas, electric and hybrid vehicles will have to make up 8 percent of each Chinese automaker's output next year, 10 percent in 2019 and 12 percent in 2020.
Automakers unable to meet these targets will have to buy credits from competitors that have a surplus.
Beyond electric and hybrid vehicles, Chinese authorities are also pushing the concept of 'smart cars,' including self-driving technology.
Wu Wei is with the National Development and Reform Commission.
"We're drafting a national innovative development strategy for smart cars. The strategy will provide a clear direction in promoting smart cars and guide China's development of intelligent cars in future."
A number of Chinese companies, including this country's leading Internet technology firms, have begun investing in smart-car technology over the past few years.