SHENZHEN (Reuters) - The head of Chinese automaker BYD Co Ltd <002594.SZ> expects all vehicles in the country to be electric or hybrid by 2030, a more aggressive timeframe than even Europe, as Beijing pushes ahead on a longer-term plan to shift away from petrol-engine cars.
Earlier this month, a senior Chinese official said the world's largest auto market had begun studying when to ban the production and sale of cars using traditional fuels, without giving a timeframe from the shift.
The United Kingdom and France have said they will ban new petrol and diesel cars from 2040.
"We are very confident about all the timetables (to eliminate fossil fuel cars) and we think it will happen earlier than expected," said Wang Chuanfu, chairman and president at Shenzhen-based carmaker BYD, which has invested heavily in battery electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles.
"Various governments have announced timetables to end the sale of fossil fuel cars and this is putting pressure on everyone else," Wang told reporters in Shenzhen on Thursday.
China has set goals for electric and plug-in hybrid cars to make up at least a fifth of its auto sales by 2025 in a bid to combat air pollution and close a competitive gap between its newer domestic automakers and their global rivals.
However, China is also phasing out subsidies for the electric-vehicle market that have supported makers of new-energy vehicles like BYD. BYD, which is backed by U.S. investor Warren Buffett, has seen its profits fall sharply this year.
Wang added that 20 cities in China would begin building BYD sky rail transport systems next year, amid a push by the firm to diversify away from cars alone.
BYD's first sky rail project was launched in China's northwestern city of Yinchuan at the beginning of this month.
(Reporting by David Stanway, writing by Adam Jourdan; Editing by Himani Sarkar)