Lacking Subsidy, Chinese Shun Expensive Hybrids, Electric Cars

Government plan to subsidize plug-ins cars delayed.

Published: 25-Apr-2010

SHANGHAI -- Huang Jihai considered buying his 28-year-old daughter the world’s first plug-in hybrid as a wedding gift in Beijing before choosing to save 16,900 yuan ($2,500) with a gasoline-powered car instead.

“Some of the hybrids and electric cars look pretty cool, but they are too expensive,” said Huang, 51, who opted for a General Motors Co. Chevrolet Cruze. “I’d rather spend less money on a reliable gasoline car.”

Automakers including GM and Nissan Motor Co. plan to display a record 95 alternative energy-powered models at this year’s Beijing Auto Show, which opens to the press tomorrow. While China’s government has touted less-polluting cars as a way to improve air quality and cut reliance on imported oil, it has delayed a plan to introduce subsidies that may put the models within reach for buyers like Huang.

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