| BEIJING, April 29
BEIJING, April 29 China will scale back its
subsidies for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles faster than
expected, while declining to give subsidies to traditional
hybrids, according to policy documents posted on the finance
ministry's website on Wednesday.
The final version of the policy largely confirmed a
previously released draft in setting levels for new energy
vehicle subsidies in 2016, but will scale back those subsidies
by 20 percent in 2017-2018 and by 40 percent in 2019-2020.
The draft had only called for two 10-percent reductions by
Traditional hybrid, which rely mostly on gasoline engines,
remains a key peg of many company's strategies in China, with
Toyota Motor aiming to launch Corolla and Levin hybrid
models later this year and Geely Automobile working on
a hybrid version of its Emgrand 7 midsize sedan.
By rolling back subsidies faster, the government wants to
pressure automakers to reduce their currently high price for new
energy vehicles, rather than relying on subsidies to profit,
said Yale Zhang, managing director of consultancy Automotive
Foresight in Shanghai.
The highest subsidy for a single car is roughly 100,000 yuan
($16,119.7), as local authorities generally offer subsidies to
match those of the central government, so a 20-40 percent
reduction is quite large, he said.
The government subsidy scheme, along with an aggressive
ratcheting up of emission and fuel economy standards by 2020,
aims to bring relief to pollution choked cities in the world's
largest car market.
Chinese and foreign automakers unveiled plans for a slew of
new energy vehicles at the Shanghai autoshow last week in an
effort to meet the government's stringent goals.
Shanghai GM, a joint venture between General Motors
and SAIC Motor, said at the show that it would
develop 10 new energy models by 2020.
The policy is "sending a signal to the car makers that the
government is quite determined to use some of the stick instead
of the carrot by the end of this decade," Zhang said.
The scheme lays out in detail the subsidies based on the
type of vehicle and the distance it can travel.
Electric and plug-in passenger cars will receive between
25,000 and 55,000 yuan per vehicle from the central government.
Notably absent from the document are traditional hybrid
vehicles, whereas plug-in hybrids depend primarily on an
($1 = 6.2036 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Anand Basu)