Electric car project ongoing, Yulon says

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Fri, Mar 26, 2010 - Page 12

Yulon Group (裕隆企業集團), the nation’s largest automaker, yesterday said it had not suspended plans to promote electric cars.

“Our project is going on as planned. It has not stalled,” Hsieh Ting-lin (謝汀麟), the company’s deputy business planning manager, said by telephone. “Progress will, however, depend on government policy rollout and infrastructure building.”

Hsieh’s remarks came in the wake of a report by the Chinese-language Commercial Times yesterday that the carmaker had put its plans to supply electric cars locally on hold because the government had been slow in drafting related policies and subsidies.

Hsieh said there would be “solid progress” soon on a pilot project with the Taipei County Government. Yulon’s Luxgen electric cars would be hitting the test-run zone in Pinglin (坪林), Taipei County, he said.

“We want to test our business model there, but overall progress on our electric car venture would depend on how fast and effective the government’s initiatives would be,” Hsieh said.

The Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday said it would hold its third intra-ministry meeting today and hoped to lay out more concrete plans by then.

“Policymaking involves a wide range of issues, especially in regards to commodity tax cuts and fund-raising for pilot runs,” it said in a statement.

Under the ministry’s blueprint, the government will initially target public transportation, encouraging taxi operators and state-run firms to replace their gasoline-powered vehicles with 3,000 battery-powered models.

As for the second-phase plan, the government will offer tax cuts and cash subsidies to the general public to popularize green vehicles, depending on its fiscal condition.