China has unveiled a new round of subsidies for fuel-efficient vehicles in a bid to combat rising air pollution in its major cities.
The government will provide up to 60,000 yuan ($9,800) to buyers of all-electric, “near all-electric” and hydrogen vehicles until 2015, according to the BBC. The policy is expected to boost Chinese automakers such as BYD, which makes electric cars and batteries. However, the programme does not include gasoline-electric hybrid cars.
In a statement, the government said the policy was aimed at “accelerating the development of new-energy vehicles, promoting energy saving and reducing air pollution”. China aims to put five million “new-energy” vehicles on the road by 2020.
According to the state-owned Xinhua news agency, there were about 27,800 new-energy vehicles being used last year, mostly buses. China’s last electric vehicle subsidy programme expired at the end of 2012, but failed to provide a large boost to electric car sales.