China’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) has told Chinese automakers to increase efforts to cooperate in developing electric cars, according to the South China Morning Post.

At a vehicle conference in Tianjin, Science and Technology Minister Wan Gang said he would work with the NDRC and the Ministry of Finance to promote hybrid vehicles starting next year, concentrating first on China’s public transport, taxis and postal vehicles. Developing hybrids would be a step toward fully electric vehicles, he said.

Car firm BYD announced last month that it would debut the F3DM, its first electric car, in late November.