The Nikkei reports that the government of Japan is considering subsidies of up to ¥300,000 (US$2,992) for buyers of hybrids, electric vehicles, and certain gasoline- and diesel-engined cars that met emissions requirements.
Those who buy minicars meeting the criteria would receive 100,000 yen in subsidies, with the amount increasing to 200,000 yen for those purchasing larger qualifying vehicles. Furthermore, people who are upgrading to green new cars from cars that are at least 13 years old would receive an additional 100,000 yen or so in subsidies. The government is looking to introduce the new subsidies before summer and keep them until the end of fiscal 2009.
This latest effort to shore up demand for environmentally friendly cars comes as tax breaks on such vehicles took effect Wednesday. The automobile acquisition and weight taxes are waived for these cars, enabling a person buying a 2 million yen [US$20,000) hybrid weighing 1.3 tons to save 150,000 yen (US$1,496).