Chinese battery and vehicle maker BYD Co said it was bullish about sales of its F3DM plug-in hybrid car, after regulators recommended the energy-efficient model as eligible for government subsidies.
China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) recently unveiled the list of a first batch of new-energy vehicle models that have got regulatory approval for production and sale.
According to a statement on the MIIT website, there were five new-energy vehicle models in the list - Nanjing Iveco's electric commercial vehicle, Jianghuai Auto's electric engineering vehicle, JMC's electric service vehicle, Zotye Auto's electric light minibus, and BYD's plug-in hybrid sedan.
"Being the only sedan on the list, we qualify for the highest subsidy level of as much as 50,000 yuan ($7316) per unit. Hence, we are optimistic about the F3DM model's sales to individual customers, which will start next month," said a BYD spokesperson.
China's Ministry of Finance announced subsidy plans for new-energy vehicle production and purchase early this year. For new-energy vehicle makers who wished to avail of the subsidy, the vehicle model had to be approved by the industry regulator for mass production.
The F3DM car, the first plug-in to be mass-produced anywhere in the world, hit the market in December 2008.
The electric car can be charged through charge stations or at home. The zero-emission model's electricity consumption cost was only one-fourth that of gasoline driven cars of a similar size, BYD said.