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Government to buy more 'green' cars

Xinhua, July 14, 2014 Adjust font size:


The plan is the second stimulus in a week to popularize the use of "green" vehicles. Last Wednesday, the central government announced that from September 1 through 2017, buyers of new-energy cars will be exempt from the 10 percent purchase tax.

Under yesterday's plan, government bodies will be urged to buy more "green" cars, ownership of which has been limited despite the government's long-running promotion, said an official in charge of assets management at the NGOA.

As early as January 2009, four ministries began promoting energy-saving and new-energy vehicles in 13 cities. In 2010, the scheme was rolled out to 12 more cities, most of them in eastern and central regions where industry is more developed and emission-reduction tasks are heavy.

Last year, the State Council published a road map for the energy industry's development in 2011-15.

Under the plan, the government will "provide necessary conditions and support" for the development of the new-energy vehicle industry. Before the end of next year, the government plans to complete a network of charging services capable of serving half a million electric cars, it said.

Thanks to government promotions, "green" car manufacturers have mushroomed in China. Currently, 97 companies are capable of producing new-energy cars and 628 of their models are included in a catalog of government-approved vehicles.

But sales have been disappointing. In the first half of this year, output of new-energy vehicles posted two-fold growth year on year to 20,692, while wholesale sales expanded at a similar rate to 20,477.

Despite the robust growth, the sales figure accounted for less than 0.2 percent of the nearly 11.7 million vehicles of all types sold in the period.

China is the world's biggest auto market by vehicles sold.

The poor sales do not reflect the attractive prices of "green" vehicles. In Beijing, for example, after deducting taxes and other subsidies, buyers have only to pay about 120,000 yuan for a 220,000-yuan E150EV model, a pure electric car produced by Beijing Automobile Works.

But owners have found it is as difficult to find charging facilities as it is to find a parking lot in the city jammed with 5.5 million cars.

Nonetheless, Hu Enping, a public relations executive with BAW's new-energy vehicle division, is optimistic about the impact of the new plan, saying it will help boost consumer confidence.

"Most people worry about new-energy vehicles' technological stability, mileage and charging services. If the government starts to buy more cars, it means these things have been improved," he said.


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