China’s BYD is ending full-combustion engine cars to focus on electric and plug-in hybrids

A BYD Co. electronic vehicle (EV) is charged at an EV charging station on the company’s campus in Pingshan District in Shenzhen, China.

Brent Lewin | Bloomberg | Getty Images

China’s largest electric vehicle (EV) maker, BYD, said that as of last month it stopped making combustion-engine vehicles and now only produces all-electric, highly electrified plug-in hybrid cars.

“Going forward, BYD will focus on pure electric and plug-in hybrids in the automotive sector,” the company said in a statement filed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Sunday.

BYD won’t stop making gasoline engines altogether, as smaller, highly efficient engines will continue to be used in plug-in hybrid cars.

The move responds to Beijing’s commitment to increase green energy consumption to bring carbon emissions to a peak by 2030.

BYD is among six automakers – the others being Volvo, Ford, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar Land Rover – to have signed on to a global campaign to phase out combustion engine vehicles by 2040.

BYD sold 104,878 units of new energy vehicles (NEVs) in March, rising from just 24,218 units in the same month a year earlier, and marking its highest monthly sales on record. Sales last month included 53,664 pure electric vehicles and 50,674 plug-in hybrid cars and 540 commercial NEV cars.

The company also said in the release that it will continue to provide full service and lifecycle spare parts supplies to existing fuel vehicle customers.

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Kevin A. Perras