China is following in the steps of the UK and France by announcing it will end production of fossil fuel cars and vehicles in the future.

The country’s vice minister of industry and information technology, Xin Guobin, was speaking at an automotive industry event in Tianjin this weekend when he announced the policy initiative.

Xin said the government is working with regulators on a timetable to end production and sales, according to Bloomberg. He said the move “will have a profound impact on the environment and growth of China’s auto industry.”

China’s push for renewable energy

The World Health Organisation (WHO) named China the world’s deadliest country for outdoor air pollution, thanks to the country’s reliance on coal burning for energy.

However, despite its reliance on fossil fuels, China has stepped up its investment in renewable energy. Earlier this year, the country was crowned the world’s biggest producer of solar energy.

According to analysis by GlobalData, China’s investment in solar energy is set to reach $23.6bn in the next three years.

Ahead of the announcement that it would be focusing on electric cars, China’s government has been invested in the technology. It has doled out generous subsidies to encourage its citizens to buy electric vehicles; last year 507,000 plug-in vehicles were sold in China.

As well, the country built 150,000 electric car charging points in 2016 and plans to have a total of 800,000 points before the end of 2017.

Governments are waving goodbye to gasoline vehicles

In 2016, Norway became the first country to say it would be completely banning petrol powered cars by 2025.

Earlier this year, the UK government followed suit and announced that sales of new diesel, petrol, and hybrid vehicles will be banned from 2040 as part of plans to tackle air pollution.

A spokesman for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said:

“Poor air quality is the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK and this government is determined to take strong action in the shortest time possible.”

In addition, India is aiming for every vehicle sold in the country to be powered by electricity by 2030.