Shenzhen, China – The city of Shenzhen, in China’s Guangdong province, is considering a subsidy of 50,000 yuan to buyers of hybrid vehicles, according to the Chinese news magazine Caijing.

Wu Delin, vice-director of Shenzhen’s development and reform commission, made the announcement at a ceremony marking the delivery of ten plug-in hybrid vehicles by battery and auto manufacturer BYD. The magazine said that BYD’s F3DM, a small station wagon, is the world’s first production plug-in hybrid and can switch between a fully electric mode, or a hybrid mode that uses electricity and gasoline. BYD said the vehicle can travel up to 60 km on one charge in full electric mode.

BYD launched the F3DM on December 15, 2008, and received contracts from the Shenzhen municipal government and China Construction Bank to buy 30 cars each.

The F3DM has not been offered for sale to the general public yet, as charging facilities are limited. Wu told Caijing that the municipal government is planning to build a charging infrastructure to support the vehicles, and that in 2010, the city will host the 25th World Battery, Hybrid and Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle Symposium and Exhibition.

Earlier this year, China’s State Council set a target of five per cent of all passenger vehicles to be alternative-energy by 2011, with each major domestic automaker offering at least one model.

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