As the country’s capital is fighting with dangerous emissions levels and with some highly congested traffic, the authorities try to limit all these serious issues as much as possible.
China’s economic boom has led to a serious spike in vehicle ownership, thus choking more of its major cities. As an example, the number of cars rose by 17 percent in the last five years in Beijing, reaching 5.61 million units, very close to the 6-million-vehicle cap imposed by local authorities for 2017. Therefore, the capital wants to come up with a plan to limit the traffic within the city by imposing several restriction measures such as car license plates lottery, banning some cars on specific days or implementing congestion-based charges.
Several cities already limited the number of new license plates issued each year, but more actions are needed to cap the growing number of vehicles. Such moves seem somehow inconsistent, considering the fact that only last year the government cut a purchase tax for smaller engines, with the clear intention to boost sales.
But an extensive and successful plan to help Beijing with its serious congestion and pollution problems may take a few years to be put in place, according to Rong Jun, a spokesman and member of the Beijing Municipal Commission of Transport. Meanwhile, China is also making efforts to encourage the use of emission-free technologies in the country and to spur the demand for electrified vehicles. The world’s biggest auto market aims to have five million alternative-fueled vehicles on the roads by the end of the decade.