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China Reclassifies New-Energy Vehicles China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has reclassified “new energy” vehicles into three categories.

The three categories include start-up technology, which is still at the research level such as fuel cell vehicles; developing technologies, such as hybrid engines using lithium-ion batteries; and mature technologies which have achieved standardized mass production, such as lead-acid battery hybrid vehicles.

Automakers are allowed to begin mass production of vehicles with developing energy technologies but vehicle sales are still subject to certain conditions. Vehicles powered by mature alternative energy technologies will now be treated as conventional vehicles and will be produced and sold as conventional vehicles. Currently, only hybrid passenger vehicles with nickel-metal hydrogen or lead-acid batteries and electric vehicles using lead-acid batteries are classified as vehicles using mature technologies, according to the MIIT statement.

The new standards will be in effect until the end of 2010, at which point they will be revised further.

China’s State Council earlier this year set a sales target for alternative-energy automobiles pf at least 5% of total passenger vehicle sales by 2011; each major domestic automaker is to offer at least one such model. The government’s total vehicle sales target is 10 million units in 2009, with annual growth averaging 10% over the next three years.


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