BEIJING, Jul. 1 -- BYD Co,backed by billionaire Warren Buffett, and Chongqing Changan Automobile Co are among 16 Chinese automakers approved for a government energy- efficiency subsidy as China steps up efforts to curb pollution and cut fuel imports.
Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co and Beijing Hyundai Motor Co also make some of the 71 models approved for the discount of 3,000 yuan ($442) per car, the National Development and Reform Commission said on its website today. The agency didn't identify the other carmakers or any of the endorsed makes.
China's government has been trying to curb emissions as increased vehicle ownership and industrialization have added to pollution. About 44 percent of Chinese cities have an air- quality level of 3 or below, according to the State Information Center. China has five levels, with 1 indicating the cleanest air, 3 meaning "slight" pollution and 5 representing "heavy" pollution.
The average fuel consumption of the approved models is about 20 percent below current standards, the statement said.
China, the world's second-largest energy user, bought a record 203.8 million metric tons of crude oil last year as 37,383 new vehicles took to the roads every 24 hours. The average fuel consumption per vehicle is 2.28 tons a year, compared with 1.1 tons in Japan, according to the commission.
Total fuel consumption by automobiles accounted for 75.5 percent of China's gasoline usage, according to official statistics.
The government will choose more models to qualify for the subsidies in the future, the statement said.
BYD fell as much as 3.3 percent today and traded at HK$59.15 at 12:16pm.