China Daily Information Company reports that the controversial government policies that discourage the purchase and use of cars with engines under 1.0 litre will certainly be phased out.

The report cited a senior environmental protection official as source.

Zhao Yingmin, head of the Department of Science, Technology and Standards under the State Environmental Protection Administration, said: “What the government encourages are high-quality compact cars with low emission and low fuel consumption.”

Zhao said car manufacturers should speed up efforts to improve safety standards, comfort, power and design in order to attract consumers to buy cheaper models.

Premier Wen Jiabao said at the end of June that all unreasonable limitations on the use of low-engine vehicles should be scrapped.

The nation’s new auto industry policy, launched in June by the National Development and Reform Commission, also encourages customers to buy low-emission vehicles.
Some local governments, however, did not seem keen to lift the ban despite the central government’s clear preference for economical cars.

Discrimination against compact cars exists across the country. More than 80 cities have policies restricting the purchase and use of these kind of economical cars for a host of reasons, ranging from their bad image to traffic jams.

In Beijing, cars with less than 1.0-litre engines are banned on the Chang’an Avenue, the city’s east-west artery.

In Shanghai automobiles with engines smaller than 1.2 litres are forbidden to use overpasses.
Guangzhou, capital of South China’s Guangdong Province, has even stopped granting licence plates to cars under 1.0 litre.

“Generally speaking, a compact car can save 30-50 per cent of fuel than an ordinary model annually,” Zhao said.

“Under the same technical levels, the emission of pollutants from small-engine cars is much lower than that from ordinary models.”