The world’s largest auto market currently has two big issues related to the automotive industry: the auto sales boom has led to huge traffic agglomerations and the increasing number of cars is supporting the general growth of pollution and smog.
The central government has declared war on pollution recently, after years of denial that its fledging manufacturing industry has taken its toll on the environment. Part of the pledge against pollution is the strive to bring to the country’s roads more new-energy vehicles – the designated term for eco-conscious vehicles. Included are pure electric vehicles – either run on batteries or fuel cell and plug-in hybrids. And because congestion and pollution has reached alarming thresholds in some of the Chinese megacities, some of the local authorities have instituted a yearly quota on new car registrations. Part of the catch is that customers of new-energy vehicles can skip the lottery hassle as the type f vehicle has a different quota – but even that hasn’t supported much the sales of electric cars. Chinese customers still feel unconvinced by such cars, due to high asking prices, range anxiety and the lack of available charging solutions.
Now, the city of Shanghai has added another incentive into the mix – owners of electric cars can get their vehicle’s registration free of charge, a big incentive considering that paying the license plate charges can add to the price of the car around $12,000. Among the customers that get the added benefit are those opting for the BMW AG i3 battery-electric car or Tesla’s Model S luxury electric sedan. Shanghai is among the Chinese cities that has enforced a restriction on adding new vehicles into the metropolis and provides incentives to users of alternative-energy autos.