China is to give more subsidies for electric vehicles than previously announced as part of Chinese government plans to tackle pollution.
Subsidies for this year will be cut by 5 percent, instead of the previously announced 10 percent, and decreased by 10 percent next year, instead of 20 percent, the Chinese Ministry of Finance said in a joint statement with the Chinese National Development and Reform Commission and the Chinese technology and industry ministries.
Pressure is mounting for China to contain air pollution, which reached record levels in Shanghai last year and prompted many cities to introduce emergency measures, including restricting the use of vehicles on heavily polluted days. The nation is lagging behind its target to have 5 million of the vehicles by 2020 because of high costs.
“The policy benefits public buses, environmental sanitation vehicles, the fleet vehicles,” said Yale Zhang (張豫), managing director of Autoforesight Shanghai Co. “Extending subsidies beyond 2015 is to reduce confusion.”
China will support the promotion of new-energy vehicles in a second batch of cities and regions, including the northeastern provinces of Jilin, Liaoning and Heilongjiang, the finance ministry said in a separate statement dated Jan. 27.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (李克強) said during a visit to electric carmaker BYD Co (比亞迪) last month that local governments should take a leading role in promoting the use of alternative energy-powered vehicles.
Shares in BYD, maker of the battery-powered K9 bus, surged by the 10 percent daily limit as of 10:21am in Shenzhen trading yesterday and gained 5.2 percent in Hong Kong.
Tailpipe emissions have come under scrutiny as China became the first country to report annual vehicle sales exceeding 20 million units last year.
To combat air pollution, the Chinese State Council released a national plan in September that called for a 15 percent to 25 percent reduction in particulate matter by 2017 in the three key manufacturing regions anchored by Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
The government announced in September it would gradually decrease subsidies as it renewed its current program, which provides as much as 60,000 yuan (US$9,900) toward the purchase of an all-electric passenger vehicle and as much as 500,000 yuan for an electric bus.