Rumor has it that Japan will soon introduce big subsidies for cars that require little fuel, Reuters reports. For gasoline-electric hybrids and other high-mileage vehicles, Japan may be offering as much as 300,000 yen ($2,991).The Japanese media has been reporting that the subsidies will be part of a big stimulus package that may include money for energy-saving home appliances and other energy-saving technologies.
Reuters got their information from Nikkei, a Japanese business daily. Nikkei said buyers of mini vehicles (660cc) would receive 100,000 yen for each purchase, and the amount would be doubled if the customer double-dipped for a larger qualifying automobile.
Toyota, the Japanese automaker, leads the hybrid market with the Prius. Another Japanese automaker, Mitsubishi, is the only big car company with an electric vehicle on the road. Japan has long championed greener cars. Chrysler CEO Robert Nardelli recently told BusinessWeek that "the Japanese government paid for 100% of the development of the battery and hybrid system that went into the Toyota Prius."
There are several tax breaks available in the U.S. for fuel efficient vehicles. A full list can be found here.