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EPA to provide incentives for new truck purchases

2018/07/23 17:58:05

CNA file photo

Taipei, July 23 (CNA) The Environmental Protection Administration (EPA) announced Monday it will subsidize interest on loans and provide credit guarantees to help owners of old trucks purchase new vehicles that meet the latest emission standards.

Many truck drivers have protested in recent weeks the government's plan to phase out old diesel-fueled trucks by instituting tougher emission standards, arguing that it will drive them out of business and make it hard to earn a living.

The new standards were originally planned to take effect in 2020, but during a protest on July 15 when more than 500 old trucks and motorbikes blocked the road outside the EPA building, the EPA said it would move back the start date to 2023 to give the drivers more time to comply.

They will also be able to get financial support to purchase new vehicles, Tsai Hung-teh (蔡鴻德), director-general of the EPA's Department of Air Quality Protection and Noise Control, said on Monday.

Under the incentive program, the administration will provide guarantees for 70-90 percent of the loans for new truck purchases and subsidize 1 percentage point of the interest rate on the loans, Tsai said.

The loan package is set to begin Sept. 1 and will target Level 1 diesel trucks, manufactured prior to June 30, 1993, and Level 2 diesel trucks, produced between July 1, 1993 and June 30, 1999.

Taiwan has five emission standard levels for diesel trucks based on the age of the vehicle, with higher levels representing tighter standards.

Level 3 to Level 5 are for vehicles produced or imported from July 1, 1999 to Sept. 30, 2006; Oct. 1, 2006 to Dec. 31, 2011; and Jan. 1, 2012 to the present.

The EPA originally wanted diesel trucks 14 years and older to meet the Level 4 emission standard by 2020, angering drivers of older trucks, many of whom are in business for themselves.

Tsai said the financial support package is expected to help phase out some 73,000 Level 1 and Level 2 old diesel trucks from public roads.

Air pollution is a matter that concerns everyone, EPA chief Lee Ying-yuan (李應元) said, urging the public to help the government clamp down on auto emissions in the interest of public health.

(By Wu Hsin-yun and Ko Lin)