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China: Government offers incentives to domestic electric-vehicle buyers

China’s first indigenous purely electric supermini car hit the market on Monday as part of a government-sponsored project to encourage the use of energy-saving vehicles.

Roewe E50 buyers in Shanghai could save around 100,000 yuan ($16,000), thanks to government subsidies and an upcoming local policy waiving license plate fees, according to company sources.

The E50, a purely electric vehicle, is the result of three years’ research and development by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, said Shen Ling, public relations manager of the company’s new energy department.

The car applies advanced energy-saving and safety technologies to ensure zero emissions, she said.

Although the new model officially retails at 220,000-240,000 yuan, buyers may enjoy steep discounts as the government and automakers strive to promote new-energy vehicles.

Under a central government notice, a rebate of up to 60,000 yuan is offered on the purchase price to buyers of battery-powered cars, and the Shanghai municipal government is offering a subsidy of up to 40,000 yuan.

A move which could give the sector a further shot in the arm is a policy due to be unveiled by the Shanghai authorities offering free license plates to owners of electric vehicles.

Government offers incentives to domestic electric-vehicle buyers

According to Shen, the decision, which is subject to the approval of the National Development and Reform Commission, is likely to be implemented “very soon”.

Other than government incentives, auto manufacturers are seeking to drum up buyers’ interest with value-added services.


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