Beijing continues to scrap polluting cars

Updated: 2012-12-26 03:33

By Zheng Xin (China Daily)

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The capital's initiative to rid the city of polluting vehicles has taken 458,000 old cars off the road, and the government is providing more benefits to local motorists to encourage them to scrap aging vehicles.

"The campaign has not only boosted the local car market to some extent, which had been stagnant, but has also substantially improved the capital's air quality," Li Kunsheng, director of the Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau's department of motor vehicles, said at a news conference on Tuesday.

The policy offers people who get rid of cars made in 1995 or earlier subsidies of 2,500 yuan ($390) to 14,500 yuan. Sellers who buy a new car from qualified dealers can receive up to 10,000 yuan.

The bureau said the drive has proved effective in weeding out heavily polluting vehicles, and the city government will provide more benefits to motorists to get more polluting vehicles off the road.

The upgraded plan will run from Jan 1 next year to Dec 31, 2014, and has raised the average subsidy for scrapping cars from 4,500 yuan to 6,500 yuan.

In addition, the bureau is also negotiating with car manufacturers to come up with more subsidies for people trading in cars, while more kinds and models of cars and trucks will be involved in the program.

Li said the bureau is also cooperating with the Beijing Development and Reform Commission to provide more rewards and incentives to people who trade in their cars to buy new-energy vehicles.

"This will further guide and encourage motorists in the city to accept new-energy vehicles and thus promote the development of the new-energy car industry," he said.

According to Li, old cars pollute far more than new ones, especially if they have been on the road for more than eight years.

"Though only 22 percent of cars on the road are more than 8 years old, they produce more than 50 percent of the automobile pollution," Li said.

According to the bureau, the city has 5.19 million vehicles.

The vehicles contribute 86 percent of the capital's carbon monoxide emissions, 40 percent of the hydrocarbon emissions and 56 percent of the nitric oxide emissions, said Li.

Controlling motor vehicle emissions has become an important environmental problem for urban areas worldwide, he said. As clean energy is used more widely across the city and the industrial structure is upgraded, automobiles will continue to play a major factor in the city's worsening air condition, he added.

According to the bureau, the city eliminated 552,000 old vehicles between Jan 1, 2011, and the end of November, with 458,000 of them scrapped or sold to buyers outside of Beijing since August last year, when the policy was put into force.

Removing the 458,000 old cars from the road will prevent 160,000 metric tons of pollutants, including carbon monoxide, nitric oxide, hydronitrogen and particulate pollutants, among which nitric oxide accounts for 11,000 tons.

More than 254,000 car owners have received a total of 1.05 billion yuan from the government, and more than 6.35 million people have visited the official website or called for information and advice.

The number of car manufacturers involved in providing subsidies during the policy has increased to 46.

According to China Beijing Environment Exchange, which runs the program, the market has been responding well to the scrapping policy and car owners have been enthusiastic.

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