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Subsidy will help plug-in hybrid sales, BYD says
By Li Fangfang (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-08-18 08:04

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.

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"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.

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