Beijing will introduce tougher auto emission standards at the beginning of next year, as air pollution has become a major concern for the city in the preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games.
It is expected that the new standards will reduce the sulphur dioxide emissions by 1,840 tonnes every year, said Feng Yuqiao, an official with the Beijing environment protection bureau.
Automobile distributors in Beijing are preparing for the new China IV standards that are equivalent to the Euro IV standards in the European Union, the official added.
Feng also said: "All the gas stations in Beijing will provide gasoline and diesel that meet the requirements of the new standards, starting from Jan 1."
The current China III standards, equivalent to the Euro III standards, have reduced sulphur dioxide emissions from automobile exhausts by 2,480 tonnes annually since the regime was enforced at the end of 2005, according to the official.
There are 3.1 million vehicles in Beijing city at present, with more than a thousand new vehicles joining the city's clogged streets each day.