Beijing EV Licenses Ignored In Spite Of New Car Registration Difficulties

Cameron Aubernon
by Cameron Aubernon
beijing ev licenses ignored in spite of new car registration difficulties

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.

South China Morning Post reports only 1,701 potential EV owners have filed applications for new vehicle licensing thus far. The figure is less than 0.1 percent of the nearly 1.9 million new vehicle licensing applications received by Beijing’s city government for gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles.

Though all 20,000 applications would be issued if more applicants entered their name in the lottery system used to issue licenses, most would rather wait until they received approval for a conventional vehicle. As a result, the city government recently tweaked their lottery to improve the chances of those 640,000 applicants who tried their hand over 25 times to buy and license a non-EV vehicle, resulting in a 2.4 percent chance of success for those who applied more than 37 times.

The reason for the lack of enthusiasm in Beijing for EVs? A lack of supporting infrastructure for charging the vehicles, and a perception of poor performance and unreliability overall, with taxi drivers complaining of limited range and long-wait times to charge in regards of the 1,000 taxis and the 500 charging stations in the city to keep the taxis moving.

Beijing aims to alleviate the issue by installing 1,000 stations within city limits by the end of 2014, extending into the suburbs by 2017. City officials also aim to bring 1.7 million EVs to the road by 2017, as well, with subsidies of up to 108,000 yuan to help encourage more residents to buy electric.

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  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Feb 19, 2014

    I'm surprised to see a circa 03 Jeep GC in that oncoming traffic. I thought Chrysler had a really hard time in China.

    • SoCalMikester SoCalMikester on Feb 19, 2014

      they build jeeps in china,which reminds me of the mitt romney lie that ALL jeeps were going to be built in china.

  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Feb 19, 2014

    Surely not as far back as THAT GC though, early 2000s?

    • FuzzyPlushroom FuzzyPlushroom on Feb 19, 2014

      AMC established a joint venture in China in the mid-'80s to build the XJ Cherokee there. Chrysler, and later DaimlerChrysler, maintained that venture, which Mercedes-Benz retained after sucking Chrysler dry. So sayeth Wikipedia, anyway.

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