15 Percent Reduction Planned in Conjunction With Chinese Auto Manufacturer’s Plan To Ship Its Vehicles Through Port of Los Angeles

SAN PEDRO, Calif. — May 4, 2010  — The Port of Los Angeles is pursuing plans to become the world’s first port to offer a reduced tariff for zero-emission vehicles imported into the United States through the Port.  The reduced-fee incentive proposal was announced Friday, April 30, as Chinese manufacturer BYD Auto Company Limited (BYD) said it will locate its North American headquarters in Los Angeles and use the Port of Los Angeles to import its vehicles.

“BYD is a truly visionary company, and the zero-emission tariff our Port will offer is another example of our strong desire to work with and attract global alternative energy companies to Los Angeles,” said Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.  “By pursuing 21st Century, clean technology enterprises, we are building a foundation for our future – both economically and environmentally.”

“This unique tariff incentive will become an important business opportunity for port customers,” added Port Executive Director Geraldine Knatz, Ph.D.  “The City has leveraged many of its resources to bring BYD to Los Angeles. The Port is proud to play a key role in this effort and in the Mayor’s overall strategy of finding new ways to advance L.A.’s position as an emerging hub for clean tech industries.”

The Port of Los Angeles is proposing the creation of a “Zero-Emission Vehicle Tariff Measure” that would provide a 15 percent reduction of the wharfage rate for any battery electric vehicles. The Port will bring the proposed tariff reduction to the California Ports Authority, the Los Angeles Harbor Commission and the Los Angeles City Council in the next several months, with a goal of enacting the provision by September.                     

Last week, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and officials from BYD, a leader in electric and hybrid vehicles and other renewable energy products, announced BYD will locate its North American headquarters in Los Angeles.

“California’s market-friendly energy and environmental policies are playing a vital role not only in making California more energy secure but also in bringing companies like BYD to our state,” Gov. Schwarzenegger said.”Like California, BYD is a company of firsts. They are leading China and the rest of the world into a cleaner, more sustainable future.”

BYD’s Los Angeles headquarters will be responsible for sales, marketing and research and development for its automobiles and energy products, which include solar panels, LED lighting systems and other renewable products. BYD is selling the world’s first mass-produced plug-in hybrid vehicle and introduced the first electric char independent of specialized charging stations earlier this year in Shenzhen, China.

The Port of Los Angeles is America’s premier port and has a strong commitment to developing innovative strategic and sustainable operations that benefit the economy as well as the quality of life for the region and the nation it serves.  As the leading seaport in North America in terms of shipping container volume and cargo value, the Port generates 919,000 regional jobs and $39.1 billion in annual wages and tax revenues.  A proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles, the Port is self-supporting and does not receive taxpayer dollars.

The Port of Los Angeles – A cleaner port.  A brighter future.