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Electric cars in China

China shifts stance and embraces hybrids, in big win for Toyota

Beijing adds Japanese carmakers' specialty to favored list to help clear the air

China now has some of the world’s strictest rules for exhaust emissions, part of its efforts to deal with serious air pollution problems. (Photo by Takaki Kashiwabara)

BEIJING -- The Chinese government is set to shift its automotive strategy to rely more on hybrid vehicles as part of its efforts to clean up the environment, instead of centering solely on electric vehicles, a development likely to work in favor of Japanese automakers such as Toyota Motor and Honda Motor.

Beijing has been scrambling to tackle its serious air pollution problem by implementing the world's strictest rules for exhaust emissions. Manufacturing and sales quotas were introduced this year to encourage use of new-energy vehicles, including electric cars, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and plug-in hybrids. New-energy vehicles must account for the equivalent of 10% of automakers' fleets in 2019.

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