Japan may ban sales of new gasoline-engine cars by the mid-2030s in favour of hybrid or electric vehicles, public broadcaster NHK reported on Thursday, aligning it with other countries and regions that are imposing curbs on fossil fuel vehicles. The move would follow Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s pledge to slash carbon emissions to zero on a net basis by 2050 and make the country the second G7 nation to set a deadline for phasing out gasoline vehicles. Japan’s industry ministry will map out a plan by the year-end, chief government spokesman Katsunobu Kato told a news conference on Thursday. The likelihood of state interventions to lower carbon emissions is fuelling a technological race among carmakers to build electric cars and hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles that will lure drivers as they switch from gasoline models, particularly in the world’s two biggest auto markets, China and the U.S. Measures already in place in Japan mean Japanese automakers, particularly big ones such as Toyota Motor Corp with greater research and development resources, could use electric vehicle technology they have already developed at home.