China: Premier Li wants governments to use eco cars image

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said governments should take a leading role in promoting alternative energy-powered vehicles, according to a statement posted on the central government’s website.

China plans to have 5 million alternative energy-powered automobiles by 2020. Li’s comments reiterate a policy to have local public authorities take the lead in using alternative-energy vehicles.

“New-energy vehicles, especially buses, can help improve urban problems of pollution and noise and therefore everyone should be encouraged to use it,” Li was cited as saying during a visit to a unit of automaker BYD.

China’s provinces and biggest cities have been given targets to cut concentrations of some air pollutants by 5 to 25 % by 2017 compared with 2012 levels. An increasing number of Chinese cities have introduced emergency measures to fight smog.

BYD, backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, said this month that it had failed to qualify for local incentives in Beijing and Shanghai. Government subsidies are important because of the high cost of building electric vehicles and charging stations.

The automaker in October forecast full-year profit would surge as much as 619 % on improved car sales and narrowing losses in its solar-energy business. Its Hong Kong-traded shares surged 63 % last year and closed at HK$34.95 yesterday, down 2.1 % on the day.

Via Bloomberg