November 13th, 2011
So I just came across a rumour on Weibo suggesting that in the very near future Beijing will end its licence plate lottery system and instead move to odds/evens traffic restrictions. I note that the author ends with:
(I heard it’ll be implemented before Spring Festival, don’t know if it’s true or not. Seeking verification!)
So, a rumour. But it reminds me of something I read in 新京报/The Beijing News yesterday, something that was absolutely fascinating in subject matter but dead boring in its molasses-like bureaucratic boilerplate writing: Plans to end licence plate lotteries and traffic restrictions for new energy vehicles. The Ministries of Science and Technology, Finance and Industry and Information Technology and the Development and Reform Commission have issued a 《关于进一步做好节能与新能源汽车示范推广试点工作的通知》Notice on Furthering Energy Saving and New Energy Vehicle Demonstration and Promotion Test Site Work. And yes, I do hate translating bureaucratese. But in addition to a ban on measures to limit vehicles such as licence plate auctions or lotteries and traffic restrictions and a requirement for the test cities to put out policies to support the purchase and use of energy saving and new energy vehicles, the article also has some interesting numbers:
- China currently has 25 New Energy Vehicle Demonstration and Promotion Test Cities, including Beijing, Shanghai, Dalian and Guangzhou.
- Test cities must plan for the construction of basic electricity charging facilities, with carparks at residential areas or work places equipped with electricity charging posts, with a ratio of said posts to new energy vehicles no less than 1:1. Special parks with charging equipment must also be installed in shopping centre, hospital, and other public carparks and rapid charging facilities covering the whole demonstration are must be built.
- By the end of the year the State Grid will have built 75 electricity charging stations and over 6000 electricity charging posts in 27 provinces and municipalities. 400 electric car charging stations will have been built by 2016, and ten thousand between 2016 and 202o.
- (alright, no numbers in this bullet point) Test cities must cancel discriminatory policies favouring local manufacturers over those from other regions, and cities that do not meet the standards in the end of year inspection will lose their test city status.
And then the article looks at the situation in Beijing: Under the “10.25” plan for the automotive industry, it should hopefully be ruled that buyers of purely electric vehicles will not need to take part in the licence plate lottery, but will instead be able to get licence plates directly. Over the next five years Beijing will strongly promote hybrid, purely electric and other new energy vehicles, reaching over 40 thousand on the roads, while striving to scrap 400 thousand old motor vehicles. The city has no firm statement on whether or not purely electric vehicles will face traffic restrictions (but hang on a minute, aren’t traffic restrictions on new energy vehicles banned?), but subsidies of up to 120 thousand yuan per vehicle will be available for the purchase of purely electric cars.
Now there’s plenty more in there that I skipped over, and quite possibly points that I missed or misunderstood (I really hate wading through bureaucratese!), but all in all very interesting news. As for that rumour, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense if Beijing is one of the test cities and is supposed to be promoting energy saving and new energy vehicles and is not allowed to have any licencing or traffic restrictions on such vehicles. We shall see.