Wed, Dec 04, 2019 - Page 12 News List

Kwang Yang plans 15 ‘greener’ scooters

REDUCING POLLUTION:People buying fuel-powered scooters that meet Phase 7 emissions standards could receive up to NT$5,000 if they retire their old scooter

By Lisa Wang  /  Staff reporter

Kwang Yang Motor Co chief executive officer Ko Chun-ping gestures at the launch of two new scooters, which meet Phase 7 emissions standards, in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Kwang Yang Motor Co (光陽工業), the nation’s largest manufacturer of gasoline-powered scooters, plans to defend its market position next year by rolling out 15 new gasoline-powered scooter models that meet the government’s Phase 7 emissions standards.

To cope with stringent emissions requirements, the company yesterday launched two scooters that it says produce 96 percent less greenhouse gas emissions than scooters that meet the Phase 6 emissions standards.

The older-generation scooters would be phased out, the company said.

The Kaohsiung-based company said that local scooter makers are gearing up to launch new low-emission models after the Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) in October introduced the new scooter emissions law to reduce air pollution, which is to go into effect next year, one year earlier than originally scheduled.

The EPA plans to subsidize purchases of fuel-powered scooters that meet the new emissions standards for two years, beginning next year.

People would receive NT$5,000 each for retiring their heavy scooters, or NT$3,000 for light models.

“We will roll out 15 new models gradually that meet Phase 7 emissions standards next year,” Kwang Yang chief executive officer Ko Chun-ping (柯俊斌) told reporters at a year-end media gathering in Taipei.

Sanyang Motor Co (三陽), the No. 3 scooter maker in Taiwan, also plans to launch seven new scooters that meet the Phase 7 standards.

Three of them are to hit the market next month, the company said in a statement yesterday.

Regarding the outlook for the local scooter market next year, Ko maintained a conservative attitude.

“The scooter market will see a volatile year in 2020, as the government’s policies will greatly affect consumers’ behavior,” he said.

Ko said he expects the nation’s scooter sales to shrink 1.16 percent to 855,000 units next year from an estimate of 865,000 units for this year.

Electric scooters are expected to comprise 13.5 percent of the nation’s overall scooter market next year compared with 17.5 percent this year, as a result of government subsidy cuts, he said.

Since early this year, Ko has been calling on the government to scrap the commodity tax on gasoline-powered scooters so that companies can fairly compete with electric scooter manufacturers, rather than just lowering the tax by NT$4,000 per vehicle to replace an old one.

The government levies a 17 percent commodity tax on the retail price of gasoline-powered scooters, but not on electric scooters.

Kwang Yang plans to launch three or four electric scooters next year, Ko said.

The company operates 550 recharge stations where riders can recharge their electric scooters or swap empty batteries for fully charged ones, he said.

Kwang Yang sold 266,394 own-brand scooters, including 8,506 electric models, in the first 11 months of this year, seizing a 33.5 percent share of the market, Ko said.

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