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New energy vehicle pilot programs promoted in 13 Chinese cities
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16:22, February 02, 2009

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Before the Spring Festival, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Science and Technology jointly issued a circular that listed 13 Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as pilot cities for demonstration and popularization of energy conservation and new energy vehicle development.

The "Circular on Carrying out Energy Conservation and New Energy Vehicle Demonstration and Popularizing Pilot Programs" lists 13 cities——Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Changchun, Dalian, Hangzhou, Jinan, Wuhan, Shenzhen, Hefei, Changsha, Kunming and Nanchang, where the pilot programs demonstration and popularization of energy conservation and new energy vehicles will be launched. The circular encourages pilot cities to take the lead in popularizing the use of energy conservation and new energy vehicles for public services such as buses, taxis, government vehicles, sanitation and postal service.

The circular specifically points out that the central government will offer one-time fixed-amount subsidies for purchases of energy conservation and new energy vehicles in the pilot cities. These will include hybrid, all-electric and fuel–cell vehicles. The amount of subsidies will be decided according to the differences in prices between basic models of energy conservation and new energy vehicles, and their equivalent traditional vehicles. It will also consider factors including economies of scale and technological progress. The circular requires local governments to allocate a certain amount of funding in order to offer corresponding subsidies for relevant expenses including the construction of auxiliary facilities and the maintenance of the energy conservation and new energy vehicles to guarantee the smooth operation of the pilot programs.

Industry professionals generally believe that there are two major factors restricting the current purchasing of energy conservation and new energy vehicles. The first is that the technology used in large-scale mass production is not mature enough and the second is the high price of the vehicles. According to incomplete statistics, the average cost of mid sized hybrid vehicles is 30 to 50 percent higher than equivalent gasoline-powered vehicles.

Although the specific details of the subsidies have not been announced, major auto manufacturers in China have sped up the research and development of new energy vehicles. The Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation has successfully developed its own “Shanghai Brand” hybrid vehicle, and announced that it has invested 100 million yuan and established the Shanghai Jieneng Automotive Technology Company, which will comprehensively focus on the three areas of hybrid vehicles, all-electric vehicles and alternative fuel.

By People's Daily Online

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