• By The Financial District


China plans to phase out new sales of gas-powered cars and bring eco-friendly ones to the mainstream by 2035, industrial sources said, boding well for Japanese automakers that have progressed with electric vehicle development.

Kyodo News reported that the China Society of Automotive Engineers, an influential industry body composed of senior auto executives and academics, has announced the policy, as President Xi Jinping's leadership has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

The association said all cars sold in 2035 in the world's biggest auto market and most populous nation would become "new-energy" vehicles like EVs or hybrids, according to the sources.

Toyota Motor Corp., Japan's largest auto manufacturer, has recently said that total hybrid car sales in China have exceeded 1 million units, while Beijing has promoted eco-friendly vehicles through subsidies as part of its national environment strategy.

In his address to the U.N. General Assembly in September, Xi promised that China would aim to become carbon neutral by 2060.

At a four-day key meeting of the ruling Communist Party through, China's top brass is believed to be discussing how to attain the goal, as the government of the world's second-biggest economy has tried to take the lead in the global climate debate.