Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia.

China has announced that it will increase its subsidies for electric vehicles as part of scheme to minimize air pollution, according to a report by

Subsidies for 2014 will be cut by 5 percent, instead of the previously announced 10 percent, and decreased by 10 percent in 2015, instead of 20 percent, the finance ministry said in a joint statement with the National Development and Reform Commission, technology and industry ministries, according to Bloomberg.

Air pollution has been an ongoing health issue in China, with  it reaching record levels in Shanghai in 2013 prompting many cities to introduce emergency measures, including restricting the use of vehicles on heavily polluted days. The nation is lagging behind its target to have 5 million of the vehicles by 2020 because of high costs, according to the Bloomberg report.

To combat air pollution, China’s State Council, or cabinet, released a national plan in September that called for a 15 percent to 25 percent reduction in particulate matter by 2017 in the three key manufacturing regions anchored by Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.

The government announced in September it would gradually decrease subsidies as it renewed its current program, which provides as much as 60,000 yuan ($9,900) toward the purchase of an all-electric passenger vehicle and as much as 500,000 yuan for an electric bus, according to the Bloomberg report.

In addition, according to Bloomberg, China will support the promotion of new-energy vehicles in a second batch of cities and regions, including the northeastern provinces of Jilin, Liaoning, and Heilongjiang, the finance ministry said in a separate statement.