SAIC delivers first battery-powered car

Updated: 2013-01-24 10:10

By He Wei in Shanghai (China Daily)

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China's first locally manufactured, battery-powered vehicle has been handed over to its buyer in Shanghai.

Qian Jun, 38, an office clerk from the suburban district of Jiading, home to Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, became the first owner of a Roewe E50, a purely electric supermini car developed by the company.

By opting to buy a greener vehicle, Qian benefited from a cash rebate worth 60,000 yuan ($9,648) from the central government, another 40,000 yuan courtesy of the Shanghai municipal government, and exemption from a license plate fee.

SAIC delivers first battery-powered car

Qian Jun (right), a 38-year-old office clerk in Shanghai, receives the license plate to his Roewe E50, the first domestically produced electric vehicle, on Wednesday. [Photo / China Daily]

Shanghai car license plates have now hit record highs, costing around 75,000 yuan in January, equal to the price of an economy family car, making the greener option hugely appealing, even though the new-energy car plates, or EV plates, are non-transferable.

"It has been exciting since I made the order in October. I was even more thrilled to be informed later that I don't need to pay for a plate, which has become crazily expensive," Qian said on Wednesday.

According to statement from SAIC, it started developing Jiading into an electric vehicle international pilot zone in 2011.

Shanghai authorities pledged to install 1,460 vehicle-charging stations citywide by 2012, with the majority in Jiading.

Qian said when he learned about the subsidies, he felt guilty driving his previous gas-guzzling sedan to work every day, and that the incentives had put to rest any earlier concerns he had about the economic sense of buying a green vehicle.

After all the deductions, he paid about 128,000 yuan for the electric car and another 13,000 yuan for insurance and commissions.

"I've saved at least 170,000 yuan buying the car, and will spend less than 200 yuan recharging - that's almost a tenth of my monthly expenditure on gasoline," he noted.

Qian said the Roewe E50 can go as far as 180 km on a single charge, a range long enough to make five daily round trips between his home and office.

And since Qian can use a charging station in his company's parking lot, he never needs to worry about running out of fuel in the middle of nowhere.

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