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2008-01-19 11:16

China Set to Offer Subsidy to New-energy Car Buyers

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The Chinese government plans to offer as much as 60,000 yuan ($8,797) in subsidy to the buyer of a new energy vehicle, Shanghai Daily reported today, citing an industry regulatory official.
Li Yizhong, Minister of Industry and Information Technology, said yesterday that green vehicles are expensive because of the huge investment as the technology is still being developed. Green cars would be sold at an estimated 50% premium over a traditional gasoline-powered model.
"The subsidy won't help much if it is less than several thousand yuan," Li said. "Without government support, it would be difficult for Chinese families to buy new-energy vehicles." Encouraging individual consumers to buy green cars will be a top priority in the future, Li added.
China expanded trial run of new-energy vehicles last year in 13 cities, including Shanghai, Beijing and Shenzhen. The pilot program, mainly for public services, included a subsidy of up to 420,000 yuan for buying a hybrid bus and up to 600,000 yuan for an electric or fuel-cell bus.
The government aims to have 500,000 green cars running on the streets and roads within three years while improving infrastructure, such as recharging stations for electric vehicles.
The subsidy plan is likely to be released later this month and five cities will be chosen as pilot cities for the trial program, another industry official said over the weekend.

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