China, the world’s second-largest energy user, will give more subsidies for electric cars than the previously announced and extend the incentive program beyond 2015 to help reduce air pollution.
The government will decrease the subsidies by 5 percent in 2014, instead of the 10 percent it announced previously, and cut the incentives by 10 percent in 2015, instead of 20 percent, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Finance on Saturday.
The country will continue to subsidize electric vehicles after the current program expires at the end of 2015, the statement said.
The move came as China faces mounting pressure to combat the problem of air pollution, with many cities in China experiencing heavy smog in recent months.
China, one of the most aggressive promoters of electric vehicles, announced in September 2013 that it would offer as much as 60,000 yuan ($9,906) for each purchase of an all-electric passenger vehicle and 35,000 yuan for plug-in hybrid cars.
BYD Co, the Chinese automaker that focuses on electric cars and is backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, saw its shares surge 63 percent last year on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange market.