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Green car bonus premieres on April 1st

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13:09 CEST+02:00
The Swedish government is set to launch its new 'green car bonus', a scheme designed to encourage car buyers to invest in fuel-efficient vehicles.

Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren confirmed on Thursday that the purchase of an environmentally friendly car will entitle the buyer to a 10,000 kronor ($1,400) payout.

The government has set aside 250 million kronor to cover the cost of the programme, which is scheduled to run from April 1st to December 31st 2009.

"We estimate that sales of green cars will increase at a rate of 10 to 15 percent per year," said Carlgren.

The Centre Party minister added that the definition of a green car consisted of more than just vehicles using hybrid technologies.

A normal petrol-driven car can also qualify for a cash bonus if it has a fuel consumption of less than half a litre per ten kilometres.

"Compared to other EU countries, Sweden has a fuel-guzzling car pool. Even in Germany it is considerably lower. This is a means of providing a strong push for fuel-efficient cars.

"The hope is that the momentum created now will keep the wheels moving after 2009," said Carlgren.

According to the minister, there is no shortage of cars that meet the requirements.

"More or less all car makers, including Volvo and Saab, have at least one model that meets the criteria for classification as a green car," he said.

The bonus scheme is to be administered by the Swedish National Roads Administration (Vägverket).

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