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Chinese automaker BAIC to eliminate fossil fuel vehicles by 2025

The Beijing giant positions itself to comply with tough new air quality goals.

Smog Returns To Beijing After Spring Festival Holiday
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It seems that the Chinese automotive behemoth BAIC has finally had enough of all our Blade Runner jokes and will move towards the elimination of internal combustion engine development by 2025.

"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," said Xu Heyi, BAIC chairman, as reported by Reuters.

Xu Heyi, Board Chairman of BAIC at a Beijing Hyundai event.

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If the name BAIC isn't ringing any bells for you, that's likely because it works primarily as a domestic production partner for electric vehicles and hybrids for Daimler AG and Hyundai, in addition to having several subsidiaries that produce heavy vehicles for military, transit and agricultural industries.

This move toward electric cars and hybrids represents a sea change in the Chinese auto industry, one spurred by increasingly strict governmental regulations for air quality. With China now being home to the world's largest automotive market, this shift could signal changes for other global automakers that want to increase market share there.

While China is one of the more recent countries to focus on cleaner air by phasing out internal combustion engines, they are by no means the only one with countries like the UK, Germany and France seeking to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles altogether in the coming decades.