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Subsidy will help plug-in hybrid sales, BYD says
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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 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.

(China Daily August 18, 2009)

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