China wants to ban gas and diesel cars

China lays claim to the largest traditional auto market in the world, but electric vehicle sales are already taking off there. The ministry will work out the timetable, Xin said. The country said it would ban production of gas-powered vehicles by 2040.

A possible ban in China, then, may act as another signal that sweeping change is coming for the auto sector - as well as indicate how seriously the country is considering a transition to energy consumption.

An index tracking new-energy vehicles makers shot up almost 4 per cent early on Monday to a 14-month high, having gained over 20 per cent this year.

The decision will have a significant impact on Chinese oil demand.

China produced and sold more than 28 million vehicles previous year, according to the International Organisation of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.

Now in the planning stages of the ban, including detailing the move's completion date, China will force engine makers and auto companies to pivot away from fossil fuels, speeding the implementation of electric vehicles in a bid to meet global climate standards laid out in the 2016 Paris Accords.

While the government did not give a date for the ban, the announcement drove up the shares of Chinese automakers, with domestic electric vehicle leader BYD soaring by as much as 7.39 per cent.

China is also planning to introduce a credit system for automakers.

Volvo Cars, owned by China's Geely Holding Group, announced plans this year to make electric cars in China for global sale starting in 2019.

Norway: The government's transportation plan outlines a clear target: All new passenger cars and vans sold in 2025 should be zero-emission vehicles.

A similar deadline has been given by France, leading some to predict that China would also opt for a 2040 cut-off point.

Zhong Shi, an industry analyst, said that China might adopt a deadline earlier than 2040 as it would be easier for the country to make the change given its relatively short history of vehicle use.