“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]