China announces future ban on petrol and diesel cars

By Nikki Addison

A polluted highway in Beijing, January 5 2017.
A polluted highway in Beijing, January 5 2017.
China pushes for environmental change by declaring it will turn solely to electric vehicles in the future.

In 2017, China manufactured and sold over 28 million vehicles. Now, the largest vehicle market in the world has announced it plans to forbid the creation and sale of petrol and diesel cars.

The move comes from a need to significantly reduce harmful emissions causing extreme pollution in large cities such as Beijing. Vice-minister of industry and information technology Xin Guobin said that the ban, which will be executed “in the near future,” will significantly reduce harmful emissions. “These measures will promote profound changes in the environment and give momentum to China’s auto industry development,” he said in a CCTV statement.

The announcement is expected to generate a considerable surge in the manufacturing of electric and hybrid vehicles. “Enterprises should strive to improve the level of energy saving for traditional cars, and vigorously develop new energy vehicles according to assessment requirements,” Guobin said.

Already car manufacturers are taking steps towards the new plans, with Volvo declaring their first fully electric vehicle will be on the Chinese market in 2019. The company also said all new cars from this date will be at least partially battery-powered. American automaker Ford likewise joined the move, stating that by 2025 it plans for 70% of its cars in China to be partially electric.

Other countries, including Britain and France, have already announced plans to prohibit the production and sale of fossil fuel cars by the year 2040.



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