BAIC Motor looks to phase out conventional fuel cars by 2025: China Daily

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Chinese carmaker BAIC Motor Corp aims to stop selling own-branded conventional fuel-powered cars by 2025, the official China Daily said on Tuesday, amid a major push by Beijing to shift automakers toward electric and plug-in hybrid cars.

BAIC, which also makes vehicles in partnership with South Korean carmaker Hyundai Motor Co and Germany’s Daimler AG, plans to stop sales of conventional petrol engine cars first in Beijing and then nationwide.

“Our goal is to stop sales of self-developed conventional fuel-powered cars in Beijing by 2020 and stop their production and sales nationwide by 2025,” the newspaper quoted BAIC Chairman Xu Heyi as saying at a launch event for a new energy car innovation center in Beijing.

China has set strict quotas for electric and plug-in hybrid cars that come into play by 2019, shaking up domestic and international carmakers in the world’s largest auto market.

Beijing wants so-called new-energy vehicles (NEVs) to make up at least a fifth of Chinese auto sales by 2025 to reduce air pollution and close a competitive gap between its newer domestic automakers and their global rivals.

In October, domestic rival Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd said it aimed to stop selling conventional combustion-engine cars from 2025, making it one of the first Chinese firms to commit to a total shift to NEVs.

Earlier this year, China’s vice industry minister said the country had begun studying when to ban the production and sale of cars using traditional fuels, and predicted “turbulent times” for automakers as they were forced to adapt.

BAIC Chairman Xu said in October the move to ban traditional petrol engine cars was “challenging” for the firm.

Reporting by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Stephen Coates