Last year Chinese passenger-car sales surged 16%, but the growing maturity of the world's largest auto market, coupled with January's sales-tax increase, has tempered demand this term.
The vice minister, Xin Guobin, said research on a ban is already underway, and that a timeline on possible implementation will come later. Countries like France and the United Kingdom have already announced a ban on the sales of fuel-burning cars at some point in the future, the furthest away being 2040.
China is preparing to put the brakes on gasoline and diesel cars. Now, media reports indicate that China is also working on a timeline to switch over to electric vehicles.
The push for vehicles with low to zero emissions by the Chinese government is aimed at curbing pollution as well as oil imports.
China produced and sold more than 28 million vehicles a year ago, according to the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers.
Geely, Volvo's Chinese owner, aims to sell one million electric cars by 2025.
Honda will introduce an electric vehicle to Chinese buyers in 2018, according to Honda China COO Yasuhide Mizuno, in cooperation with Chinese business entities Guangqi Honda and Dongfeng Honda, creating a new brand.
"The implementation of the ban for such a big market like China can be later than 2040", said Liu Zhijia, an assistant general manager at Chery Automobile Co., the country's biggest passenger auto exporter that unveiled a new line for upscale battery-powered and plug-in hybrid models at the Frankfurt motor show last week.
France is also committed of phasing out fossil fuel cars by July 2040.
With the emerging trend of the world economy, and the effect of fossil fuels on the aggravating state of climate change, China is on way to completely ban the sale of fossil fuel-powered cars in the country.
China is also planning to introduce a credit system for automakers.
Chinese-owned Volvo announced in July that every auto it makes from 2019 onward will have an electric motor.