Tokyo, Sept. 11 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s Environment Ministry plans to launch in fiscal 2022 new subsidies to support the purchases of electric minivehicles.
The new aid, to be added to similar subsidies introduced by the industry ministry earlier, is slated to be provided for electric minivehicles that will be recharged using renewable energy, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Minivehicles, which account for about 40 pct of new automobile sales in Japan, are an important mode of transport in rural areas with insufficient public transport systems.
Electric minivehicles released in the country in the past were expensive, having a price tag of about 3 million yen.
They did not sell well as a result. As Japanese automakers are planning to launch new less expensive electric minivehicles in spring next year or later, the ministry hopes to take this opportunity to promote such vehicles, the sources said.
Using the new and existing subsidies, the ministry aims to lower the costs for those who buy electric minivehicles to less than 2 million yen, according to the sources.
Specifically, the ministry plans to include the promotion of electric minivehicles in the scope of items eligible for the subsidy program it will set up in fiscal 2022, which starts next April, to assist local governments’ efforts to accelerate decarbonization and introduce renewable energy, the sources said.
It is assumed that electric minivehicles eligible for the subsidies will receive electricity generated by local power plants using renewable energy or by solar panels installed at the vehicle owners’ homes, according to the sources. Details will be fixed by local governments that receive the subsidies.
The new subsidies will also be given to regional areas aiming to achieve carbon neutrality by fiscal 2030.