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City plans to phase out dirty old clunkers

By Zha Minjie (Shanghai Daily)

08:32, August 28, 2012

SHANGHAI will gradually limit and finally eliminate use of heavily polluting vehicles starting next month to reduce air contaminants.

The owners will get subsidies from the government.

"The sooner they give up the vehicles, the more they will get paid," said environmental officials.

The vehicles, mostly older models that do not meet national emission requirements, are easily identifiable by a yellow sticker on the window.

There are 230,000 such vehicles registered in Shanghai, about 12 percent of total vehicles with local plates, according to environmental protection authorities.

But they contribute more than half of all vehicle emissions, said officials. The vehicles usually emit five to 10 times more than others.

"It's the leading source of air pollution here in the city," said Cai Zhigang, an official with Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.

The phasing out of the vehicles will also spur the production of environmentally friendly cars, said Cai.

The city is expected to get rid of 200,000 high-pollution vehicles by the end of 2015. As a result, locals may see the reading of PM2.5 - very fine particulate pollution - drop by up to 10 percent.

The vehicles will be banned inside the Outer Ring Road by 2014, according to the traffic restriction plan.

Now they are not allowed inside the Middle and Inner Ring roads.

Similar methods have been taken in developed countries worldwide.

Government bureaus and state-owned enterprises will lead the way, followed by bus operators and cleaning companies, according to the plan.

Private car owners will be offered subsidies from 3,000 yuan (US$472) to 32,000 yuan, officials said. Also, buses that travel between provinces are entitled to subsidies.

"But if you wait until the end of 2014, you may get only half of that," said Cai.

There are 10 locations in the city where residents can get subsidies and turn in vehicles.

"Yellow tag" vehicles registered in other provinces also face

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