Greener driv­ing

New en­ergy cars will get spe­cial plates in 5 cities

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHOU WENTING in Shang­hai zhouwent­ing@chi­nadaily.com.cn Wen Wenyi con­trib­uted to this story.

China be­gan a pi­lot pro­gram to is­sue spe­cial li­cense plates for newen­ergy ve­hi­cles in five cities on Thurs­day, in an ef­fort to pro­mote such ve­hi­cles and re­lieve pres­sure on en­ergy use and the en­vi­ron­ment.

In ad­di­tion to Shang­hai, the eastern cities of Nan­jing and Wuxi, Jiangsu province, and Ji­nan, Shan­dong province, as well as the south­ern city of Shen­zhen, Guang­dong province, have been cho­sen as pi­lot re­gions where peo­ple can ap­ply for li­cense plates ex­clu­sively for their newen­ergy ve­hi­cles.

For those who ap­ply be­gin­ning Thurs­day, new plates will be is­sued, while own­ers of al­ready reg­is­tered newen­ergy ve­hi­cles can de­cide whether to re­place their plates, ac­cord­ing to the Min­istry of Pub­lic Se­cu­rity.

Dif­fer­ent from the tra­di­tional blue li­cense plates, the new ones are green and 40mm wider than con­ven­tional plates. The spe­cial plates have an ad­di­tional digit.

For new reg­is­tra­tions, car own­ers can choose a plate num­ber from among 50 avail­able at ve­hi­cle man­age­ment registration sites. Or they can choose at www.122.gov.cn or via the smart­phone app Jiaoguan 12123, both of which give them the chance to pick a num­ber they pre­fer or from ran­dom num­bers, the min­istry said.

Plate re­place­ment for those who pre­vi­ously reg­is­tered a ve­hi­cle can only be done on­line at www.122.gov.cn or via the smart­phone app, the min­istry said.

New en­ergy ve­hi­cles in­clude mainly bat­tery elec­tric ve­hi­cles, plug-in hy­brid elec­tric ve­hi­cles and fuel cell ve­hi­cles. Own­ers can ap­ply to traf­fic man­age­ment au­thor­i­ties for the new plates.

Since 2013, poli­cies have been launched across the coun­try to boost the devel­op­ment of new en­ergy ve­hi­cles. By Oc­to­ber, the num­ber of bat­tery elec­tric ve­hi­cles in China had reached 555,000, of which more than 100,000 were in Shang­hai.

Huang Qi, an of­fi­cial with the city’s ve­hi­cle man­age­ment au­thor­i­ties, said the move is sig­nif­i­cant for helping to de­velop and up­grade the in­dus­try.

“Such plates make it eas­ier to rec­og­nize new en­ergy ve­hi­cles. Fa­vor­able poli­cies such as tax breaks may be in­tro­duced in the fu­ture,” Huang said.

Wu Feng, owner of a Tesla Model X, was the first to in­stall the new plates in Shang­hai on Thurs­day. “It’s very dis­tinc­tive and eye­catch­ing. It will be very cool to drive my car on the road with this plate.

“In the long run, such ve­hi­cles will be more and more pop­u­lar in China,” Wu added.

Wu said he also hoped that more poli­cies could be rolled out for new en­ergy ve­hi­cles. “For ex­am­ple, maybe some lanes could be set up ex­clu­sively for such ve­hi­cles,” he said.

The Shang­hai Trans­porta­tion Com­mis­sion said ear­lier this year that the num­ber of charg­ing sta­tions in the city will reach 100,000 next year.

XU SUHUI / FOR CHINA DAILY

An em­ployee of the Ji­nan ve­hi­cle ad­min­is­tra­tion de­part­ment in­stalls a plate on an elec­tric car in Ji­nan, Shan­dong province, on Thurs­day.

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