The nice people at Marketplace, who provided the above photo, have a fun website where you can put Chinese smog on your favorite city. Thankfully, most American cities haven’t had a smog problem in the 21st century. Beijing, on the other hand, is experiencing the proverbial terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.
BMW has teamed up with the Google of China, Baidu, to begin work on automated driving trials in Beijing and Shanghai.
Though Siemens won’t be putting their name upon the body of BAIC C70G for a DTM entry anytime soon, the Chinese automaker and German industrial giant will come together for an green vehicle-related joint venture in Beijing.
Though the municipal government in Beijing has set aside 20,000 license plates for electric vehicles in an attempt to offset their ongoing air quality woes, very few residents are interested, even if it means waiting a long time to own a gasoline-powered car.
The municipality of Beijing, China is going to be implementing traffic congestion fees on vehicles by 2017 to address increased air pollution. The plans were revealed as the city government published a five-year plan to deal with that pollution. Parking fees would also be increased and the areas where only locally registered cars and trucks are permitted to be used will be expanded. At the end of last year, Beijing had more than 5.2 million registered vehicles and city officials would like to keep that number below 6 million by 2017. Three other cities in China besides Beijing restrict new car and light truck sales, Shanghai, Gungzhou and Guiyang.
I am coming back to China after having been away for months. My trusted sidekick of many years, a lady surnamed Zhang, seeks my advice. “Bertel, we have car problems.” Uh-oh, I think, and I mentally do a review of my accounts. This smells expensive. As it turns out, the problem is bigger than what money can solve.
Ms. Zhang explains that her mother won the lottery. The Beijing license plate lottery.
This Beijing policeman has a hard look at this BMW X1. Not because it’s extremely dusty. A few days parked outside in Beijing, and any car looks like that. No, this car has no license plates. The plateless car has been gathering dust for a while on Beijing’s streets.
With a population approaching that of Australia and car sales of 700,000 new cars, or 890,000 new cars (depending on which issue of China Daily you rely more), Beijing used to be one of the most important car markets in the world’s largest car markets, China. As amply documented by TTAC, the car market in Beijing collapsed completely after city fathers ruled that new registrations have to try their luck in a license plate lottery first.
China’ top economic planners at the National Development and Reform Commission NDRC see their economic plans threatened, and are “appealing” to Beijing to change its policy. (Read More…)
Beijingers who are lucky enough to win the license plate lottery may be punished severely – if they don’t buy a car. In the beginning of the year, China’s capital instated a rule by which new car owners must enter a lottery for a license plate. Only 17,600 plates are available per month. In the latest draw, some 530,000 people did compete for the 17,600 plates. Only one out of 30 applicants could win. And what are the lucky winners doing? Most of them do nothing. In April, only 3,700 exercised their hard-won right and bought a car. At least that’s up from 2,000 in January. Now, the city is thinking about meting out harsh punishment. (Read More…)
We have documented extensively how Beijing’s license plate lottery mucked-up the car market of China’s capital. Now, Beijingers found a creative way to get their sought-after license play without bothering Lady Luck: They go to court. (Read More…)