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All new cars could be electric in China as soon as 2030, says BYD chairman

The Chinese government recently advanced the idea that they plan to ban fossil fuels cars at some point, but without disclosing a timetable so far.

Now Wang Chuanfu, Chairman of BYD, one of the biggest electric automakers in China, suggested that it could be as soon as 2030 – making it one of the most aggressive targets so far and definitely an ambitious goal for an important market like China.

Wang was speaking at an event in Shenzhen (via Reuters):

“We are very confident about all the timetables (to eliminate fossil fuel cars) and we think it will happen earlier than expected. Various governments have announced timetables to end the sale of fossil fuel cars and this is putting pressure on everyone else.”

France, the UK, and more recently Scotland, all announced efforts to ban petrol and gas-powered cars in favor of electric vehicles between 2030 and 2040.

Others, like Norway, have more aggressive goals, but they remain just goals and not enforceable mandates.

As for China, the country’s already has a fairly aggressive ZEV mandate for such a large market. Automakers need zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) to represent 8% of new car sales as soon as 2018 and quickly ramp up to 12% by 2020 and 20% in 2025.

After that, the ramp to 100% is not clear, but Wang says that the market can make it happen (though with HEVs and PHEVs, not only all-electric) by 2030.

As we previously reported, foreign automakers have made several deals to produce more EVs in China lately. VWDaimlerToyotaFordthe Renault-Nissan alliance and more recently GM have all announced joint-ventures over the last year.

And that’s just based on the current mandate. If China, as the biggest car market in the world, was to implement a deadline for the end of sales of new gas and diesel-powered cars, it would virtually be a death sentence for the internal combustion engine as even more investments would shift to EV production.

Are automakers ready for this? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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