China’s Finance Ministry said on Saturday it will extend a programme of subsidies for buyers of electric vehicles after the current subsidy regime, part of efforts to combat pollution in cities, expires in 2015.
The existing subsidies will be phased out by 2015 as planned, with a new regime to take effect after that date “to preserve policy continuity”, the ministry said in a statement on its website. Details of the new subsidies would follow at an unspecified date.
The subsidies were designed to help China meet a 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 by 2020.
Pollution in cities, in part caused by an explosion in car sales in recent years, is a hot-button issue for China’s leaders, and several measures have been introduced, including curbs on sales of petrol-engined vehicles.
The current subsidies of up to 60,000 yuan ($9,800) are available for the purchase of an all-electric battery car and up to 35,000 yuan for a “near all-electric” plug-in vehicle were extended for a further three years at the end of 2012.