China Fossil Fuel Deadline Shifts Focus to Electric Car Race

Water falls as a power cable sits in the charge point of a SAIC Motor Corp. Roewe 550E hybrid vehicle on display during the China (Guangzhou) International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, China, on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. The show runs until Nov. 29, 2015. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

Regulators working on timetable for the ban, official says

China joins U.K., France to phase out combustion-engine cars

China will set a deadline for automakers to end sales of fossil-fuel-powered vehicles, becoming the biggest market to do so in a move that will accelerate the push into the electric car market led by companies including BYD Co. and BAIC Motor Corp.


Xin Guobin, the vice minister of industry and information technology, said the government is working with other regulators on a timetable to end production and sales. The move will have a profound impact on the environment and growth of China’s auto industry, Xin said at an auto forum in Tianjin on Saturday.


The world’s second-biggest economy, which has vowed to cap its carbon emissions by 2030 and curb worsening air pollution, is the latest to join countries such as the U.K. and France seeking to phase out vehicles using gasoline and diesel. The looming ban on combustion-engine automobiles will goad both local and global automakers to focus on introducing more zero-emission electric cars to help clean up smog-choked major cities.


“The implementation of the ban for such a big market like China can be later than 2040,” said Liu Zhijia, an assistant general manager at Chery Automobile Co., the country’s biggest passenger car exporter that unveiled a new line for upscale battery-powered and plug-in hybrid models at the Frankfurt motor show last week. “That will leave plenty of time for everyone to prepare.”


BYD, China’s largest electric-vehicle maker, gained as much as 7.2 percent to HK$50.65 while BAIC advanced as much as 2.9 percent to HK$7.09 in Hong Kong trading. Guoxuan High-Tech Co., an EV battery manufacturer, rose as much as 5.3 percent to 33.70 yuan in Shenzhen.


While many global manufacturers from billionaire Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. to Nissan Motor Co. and General Motors Co. are racing to grab a slice of the electric-vehicle market in China, it is the local manufacturers that have found considerable success thanks to generous government

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