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Government targets 50% growth in electric motorbike sales in 2013

Government targets 50% growth in electric motorbike sales in 2013

Taipei, Dec. 28 (CNA) The Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) said Friday it has targeted a 50 percent year-on-year increase in electric motorbike sales in 2013 because of growing environmental awareness. Expected economic recoveries at home and abroad in the coming year are also expected to help drive the anticipated sales growth, said the IDB, which is under the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). Citing an internal assessment, the IDB predicted that sales of electric motorbikes would hit 12,000 units in 2013, up sharply from about 8,000 units sold between Jan. 1 and Dec. 22 of this year. Unit sales during the Jan. 1-Dec. 22 period rose 10 percent from 2011 because of growing environmental awareness and attractive government subsidies for electric motorbike purchases, according to the bureau. To achieve the 2013 sales goal, the government will continue to dole out subsidies ranging between NT$7,200 and NT$10,000 for each electric motorbike purchase, the bureau said. The IDB said the government has budgeted NT$138 million (US$4.74 million), up from about NT$122 million this year, to subsidize consumer purchases of electric motorbikes and set up battery recharging stations in 2013. If buying interest is strong enough, generating the need for more subsidies, the MOEA will appropriate funds from its special budget to satisfy the demand, the bureau said. Purchases of electric motorbikes that meet the Taiwan E-Scooter Standard the government established in 2009 are eligible for the subsidies. (By Huang Chiao-wen and Frances Huang)