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Honda: we won't be able to sell gas-only engines in China by 2025

A combo of electric, hydrogen and gas hybrid vehicles will lead the way.

We're fortunate that most auto companies are embracing an alternate energy future, with all manner of electric cars hitting the streets lately -- and that's not to mention hydrogen-powered vehicles like the Toyota Mirai and Honda's Clarity. The latter manufacturer just gave a pretty frank appraisal of its future selling gasoline-powered vehicles, and it feels like those days will be numbered sooner than we might expect, at least in China. In an interview with Wards Auto, Honda's chief technology strategy officer Keiji Ohtsu predicted that by 2025, Honda wouldn't be selling any cars with traditional internal combustion engines in the world's most populous country.

"In 2025, we don't expect to be able to sell conventional internal-combustion engines [in China]," Ohtsu said, "meaning we will be selling mostly hybrids including plug-in types." That bit about hybrids means that gasoline-powered cars won't be totally extinct, but at the very least they will be vehicles with better emissions that get more miles out of a tank.

The reasoning for this is clear: China's well-known for high levels of air pollution, so anything the country can do to get gasoline-powered cars off the road in exchange for cleaner options would be helpful. Indeed, Ohtsu believes that China will "adopt some of the world's most stringent regulations in terms of fuel economy." If that comes to pass, Honda (and other auto makers) won't have a choice but to offer cars that don't rely on traditional gas.

[Image credit: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg/Getty Images]

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