(Adds details of the policy, context)
By Samuel Shen and Norihiko Shirouzu
SHANGHAI/BEIJING, Sept 17 China has renewed
private-buyer subsidies for "new energy" or electric-powered
vehicles for another three years, in part to fight air
pollution, but contrary to some expectations did not include
gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles.
China's central government announced on Tuesday it will
provide up to 60,000 yuan ($9,800) for the purchase of an
all-electric battery car and up to 35,000 yuan for a "near
all-electric" plug-in vehicle.
The policy is expected to benefit Chinese carmakers
including SAIC Motor Corp and BYD Co Ltd
, the Warren Buffett-backed company best known for its
Despite views that China was warming to conventional
gasoline-electric hybrid cars after subsidies failed to boost
sales of all or near-electric vehicles, the renewed rebate
programme will not provide support for the fuel-saving hybrid
technology pioneered by Toyota Motor Corp on its Prius
model two decades ago.
The government will also give as much as 500,000 yuan for an
electric bus, according to a statement the Ministry of Industry
and Information Technology (MIIT) posted on its website.
The programme, which runs through to end-2015, renews a
three-year programme that expired at the end of last year, but
with some tweaks. The key difference was the inclusion of
hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicles, for which the government
said it would provide as much as 500,000 yuan in rebates.
Some industry experts said there is still a possibility that
the government might announce a separate purchase incentive
programme later for conventional hybrid vehicles.
They said China needed to if it was to meet its goal of
putting half a million new-energy vehicles, defined as
all-electric battery vehicles and heavily electrified "near
all-electric" plug-in hybrids, on the road by 2015 and 5 million
China had about 27,800 new-energy vehicles at the end of
2012, 80 percent of which were buses, according to the official
Xinhua news agency.
The policy is aimed at "accelerating the development of
new-energy vehicles, promoting energy saving and reducing air
pollution," said the statement, jointly issued by the Ministry
of Finance, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National
Development and Reform Commission, and MIIT.
China has unveiled a series of measures in recent months to
curb pollution, including plans to expand curbs on
gasoline-fueled car sales to more cities, and closing or
upgrading production facilities at 1,200 companies in Beijing.
($1 = 6.1203 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Samuel Shen in Shanghai and Norihiko Shirouzu in
Beijing; editing by David Evans)