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China to ban petrol and diesel cars, to boost electric cars usage

China is gearing up to ban petrol and diesel cars, a move that would boost electric vehicles and shake up the world's biggest car market in a country that is plagued by pollution.

The plan would follow decisions by France and Britain to outlaw the sale of such cars and vans from 2040 to clamp down on harmful emissions.

The government did not give a date for the ban, but the announcement drove up the shares of automakers and lithium battery makers in Asia, with Chinese electric car leader BYD closing 4.07 percent up in Shenzhen and Toyota up 1.22 percent in Tokyo.

Xin Guobin, vice minister of industry and information technology, told a weekend forum in the northern city of Tianjin that his ministry has started "relevant research" and is working on a timetable for China.

"These measures will promote profound changes in the environment and give momentum to China's auto industry development," Xin said in remarks broadcast by CCTV state television.

"Enterprises should strive to improve the level of energy-saving for traditional cars, and vigorously develop new-energy vehicles according to assessment requirements," he said

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