SAN PEDRO, CA - The Port of Los Angeles said it is pursuing plans to offer a reduced tariff for zero-emission vehicles imported into the United States through the port. 

The reduced-fee incentive proposal was announced April 30, as Chinese manufacturer BYD Auto Co. Ltd. (BYD) committed to locating its North American headquarters in Los Angeles and to using 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 Los Angeles 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. "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," which 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.                     

Earlier this month, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Villaraigosa and BYD officials jointly announced that 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," 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.