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Beijing, Shanghai Private Clean Cars to Get Rebates

published: 2010-05-18 15:26

Chinese car buyers in Beijing and Shanghai will soon get handouts from the government if they pick green vehicles, the Shanghai Securities News said on Friday.

Residents in Shenzhen, Changchun and Chongqing will also be eligible for state subsidies as part of Beijing's pilot programme to cut fuel emissions, the newspaper said citing unnamed government sources.

Details of the rebates for private car buyers will be announced later in the month, but they are believed to be similar to those for fleet buyers.

Beijing unveiled a trial scheme earlier this year to promote the use of electric, hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles by public transport operators, taxi firms and postal and sanitary services in 13 cities.

Subsidies will be based on the gap in prices between more energy-efficient vehicles and those with traditional engines, with rebates running up to 600,000 yuan ($87,880) for fuel cell-powered large commercial buses.

The government said in December it would expand the programme to 20 cities and hand out rebates to private green vehicle buyers in select cities, but did not name the cities.

Many Chinese automakers, such as BYD Co (1211.HK) -- 10 percent controlled by U.S. billionaire investor Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) -- have unveiled their self-developed electric or hybrid models.

A recent survey of Shanghai residents conducted by McKinsey & Co showed that early buyers of green cars were "trendy green" and "running cost sensitive" types, rather than bargain hunters.

In Shanghai alone, electric vehicle penetration will likely reach 100,000 by 2020, McKinsey said. ($1=6.827 YUAN)

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