Taipei, Dec. 23 (CNA) The government plans to subsidize the installation of either an anti-lock braking system (ABS) or a combined braking system (CBS) for motorbikes and scooters with 125cc engines or smaller starting next year, Acting Minister of Transportation and Communications Wang Kwo-tsai (王國材) said Sunday.
The ministry is expected to provide a subsidy of NT$4,000 (US$130) toward the installation of ABS or NT$1,000 for CBS, on new or old motorbikes, including scooters, with 125cc engines or smaller, according to Wang.
The subsidies will cover almost half the installation cost of the braking systems estimated at NT$2,000-NT$8,000 per unit, Wang said, adding that the subsidies will be available only to motorbikes with an engine under 125cc, which account for 93 percent of the market.
However, new motorbike models with engines that are 126 cc or larger must have ABS installed and are not eligible for the subsidies.
The plan was drafted after the ministry amended a regulation earlier this month mandating that new scooter models released on the domestic market must be installed with ABS or CBS beginning Jan. 1, 2019, sparking controversy over the cost.
Some consumers complained that the additional cost could drive up the price of scooters to a level that is too expensive for them.
In response, the ministry has said it would postpone the mandatory installation of ABS or CBS systems on all new scooters from its original 2021 target date.
Wang said the government will earmark NT$300 million next year for the subsidy program, which is awaiting Cabinet approval before being implemented.
The subsidies will come from the transport ministry, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Environmental Protection Administration, according to Wang.
The new scooter rule was introduced after the European Union mandated ABS from 2016 for all new street motorbikes and Japan required all new motorbikes to have ABS from 2017 to improve safety, the transport ministry said in a statement issued earlier this month.