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China to Phase Out Electric Vehicle Subsidies

SHANGHAI, China, June 20, 2013 (ENS) – The government of China plans to phase out direct financial incentives the purchase of electric vehicles in favor of supporting research and development by its major automakers, says a senior minister.

Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang said government subsidies are only “short-term solutions,” and direct government incentives for consumers are likely to be eliminated by 2020, if operational expenses can be lowered and the market expanded.

“The government is unwaveringly committed to the industry, but EV makers should never count on subsidies to survive,” Wan told the “China Daily” newspaper on the sidelines of the 2013 International Forum on Electric Vehicle Pilot Cities and Industrial Development in Shanghai at the end of May.
Roewe E50

Roewe E50 electric car in Shanghai, China (Photo courtesy Roewe)

Wan is a Chinese expert on automobiles and a former president of Tongji University, 2002–2007.

The minister chose not to comment on the possible renewal of electric vehicle subsidies, which expired at the end of last year.

Until then, Chinese government rebates of up to 60,000 yuan (US$9,790) were offered towards the purchase of battery-powered cars.

By the first of April, China had some 39,800 electric vehicles on the road – 80 percent of them used for public transport.
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