(Refiles to clarify in headline, first paragraph that BYD stops making fully combustion engine cars but smaller gasoline engines still used in plug-in hybrids)
BEIJING (Reuters) -China’s largest electric vehicle (EV) maker BYD Co Ltd (002594.SZ) said that as of last month it stopped making combustion engine vehicles and now produces full electric and heavily electrified plug-in hybrid cars only.
“In the future, BYD will focus on pure electric and plug-in hybrids in the automobile sector,” the company said in a statement filed to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange on Sunday.
BYD will not completely stop making gasoline engines since smaller highly efficient engines will continue to be used in plug-in hybrid cars.
Its move is in response to Beijing’s pledge to boost green energy consumption to bring carbon emissions to a peak by 2030.
BYD is among six carmakers – the others being Volvo, Ford, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar Land Rover – to have signed up to a global campaign to phase out combustion engine vehicles by 2040.
BYD sold 104,878 units of new energy vehicles (NEV) in March, surging from just 24,218 units in the same month a year earlier, and marking its highest monthly sales ever. Last month’s sales comprised 53,664 pure EV and 50,674 plug-in hybrid cars and 540 commercial NEV cars.
The company also said in the statement that it will continue providing comprehensive services and supplies of spare parts throughout the life cycle to existing fuel vehicle customers.
(Reporting by Muyu Xu and Norihiko Shirouzu; Editing by Susan Fenton)