By on November 9, 2009

Did you hear? They are giving them away! Picture courtesy chinasmack.com

The Chinese city of Shanghai is thinking of rewarding buyers of an eco-friendly alternative-energy car with a free license plate, Shanghai Daily reports via Gasgoo. Big deal, you say? In Shanghai, it is a big deal.

The supply of new registrations is limited to around 5,000 a month, and the plates are auctioned off. Supply is usually exceeded by demand by a factor of two. The cheapest car plate in Shanghai sold for around $5,000 at last month’s auction. The trend is up. In Shanghai, a plate can cost more than the car.

“We are considering offering free car licenses for new-energy vehicles that meet certain standards,” said an official in charge of promoting new-energy vehicles in Shanghai. Just avoiding the arduous auction procedure (chronicled here) would be worth buying a plugin or hybrid.

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10 Comments on “Shanghai Dishes Out Free Plates to Green Drivers...”


  • avatar
    gimmeamanual

    How old is that picture? She must have been one of the first to score that lucky hunk of metal. You see a lot of Zhejiang plates in Shanghai, I’m told they’re cheaper, though probably not that one.

  • avatar

    I don’t know how old the picture is, but that’s definitely a Hu-A plate, issued for a car registered in downtown Shanghai.

  • avatar
    gimmeamanual

    Chinese guy looking over my shoulder says Zhe-A, Hangzhou. Hu looks like a squared P, with three disconnected “slashes” over the top left corner and two legs; this one has 4 legs.

  • avatar
    chengdude

    Yes, it’s “Zhe A” for Hangzhou.

  • avatar

    True. My eyes … The Hu indeed has two legs …. Proper Hu-D (also for downtown SH) inserted.

    Xie xie for keeping me on the straight and narrow.

    (Tough crowd. Tough crowd.)

  • avatar
    gimmeamanual

    From one laowai to another, mei wen ti.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    Registrations capped at 5000/mth? $5000 for a registration plate at auction? Encouraging “greener” (or perhaps more fuel efficient) vehicles?

    Curious. Looks like we have attempts at dramatically slowing vehicle adoption already – just like I’ve been saying.

    Maybe our guys need to have another look at their 80 cars per 1000 head of population for China. That might even be optimistic.

  • avatar
    YZS

    Peter Moran: Shanghai, being a huge city is going to have higher car density than just about anywhere else in China. No different than NYC or London trying to limit the number of cars in their city.

  • avatar
    sutski

    @PM “dramatically slowing vehicle adoption already”

    Errrr a slow down in adoption of old school “dirty” ICE cars perhaps, but they are really and directly decreasing the new vehicle entry barriers to owning a vehicle, whilst promting fewer emissions/pollution at the same time…

    It also costs “nothing” to not tax, and so by doing this the Govt. has created a massive economic stimulant for future EV interest and development and a future tax revenue stream on domestically produced electric power rather than foreign produced oil costs, all without spending a penny!!

    This will surely result in INCREASED adoption of private vehicles by the Chinese consumer (and less polluted cities to boot)…not to mention the shot in the arm this will give to companies that can and are already producing these PHEV/EV vehicles…Geely et al…..whilst simultaneously giving a kick in the shins to foreign companies that do not produce hybrids/EV’s…

    Who said you need to use traditional import restrictions to destroy your foreign and well established (ICE) segment competitors; i.e there is now a MINIMUM $5000 direct tax on (foreign) pure ICE car registrations/ownership in Shanghai and nothing on locally produced electric cars!

  • avatar

    @ PeteMoran:  “Curious. Looks like we have attempts at dramatically slowing vehicle adoption already – just like I’ve been saying.”
    This is a purely Shanghai matter and does NOT apply to the rest of China. The limitation in Shanghai is not new either, it has been in place since 1998. Shanghai has a serious traffic problem, exacerbated by the fact that it is divided by a big river. The tunnels and bridges make for mass pile-ups nearly all day and night.
    Beijing has resisted to put in similar restrictions on car registrations.

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