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Electric car buyers must try their luck in lottery

Updated: 2013-11-19 07:39
By Zheng Xin ( China Daily)

Future buyers of electric vehicles in Beijing will not be immune to the capital's monthly license plate lottery.

Beijing Commission of Transport said on Monday that details into the lottery specifically for new electric vehicle plates will be released at the end of the month, but it did confirm that the plan will go into effect next year. The announcement squashes recent rumors that electric vehicle owners would be able to bypass the city's lottery system as part of its efforts to encourage purchases of battery-powered autos.

In an attempt to limit the amount of air pollution and traffic congestion, the city is aiming to have 170,000 new energy automobiles by the end of 2017. City authorities claim the lottery will not affect sales of electric vehicles since there currently isn't a great deal of electric car buyers in the market.

Wang Linzong, a 34-year-old bank clerk in Beijing, said he is considering trying his luck in the electric vehicle plate lottery.

"I've been participating in the traditional license plate lottery for some two years and have come up short," he said. "I think I stand a better chance in the electric vehicle lottery considering there will be fewer participants."

The announcement of a lottery for electric vehicles plates comes a couple of weeks after the city said it will only issue 150,000 license plates next year, down from 240,000 this year, to reduce the number of cars on roads and to curb air pollution.

There are approximately 5.3 million cars in the city. To limit the number of cars on roads and to curb pollution, the capital adopted the license plate lottery system in 2011. Since then, it has issued 240,000 license plates each year.

The commission also said it is weighing the possibility of giving higher priority to lottery participants who have not been successful in securing a plate for the past three years.

Meng Anming, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, suggests more priority should be given to families without an automobile.

Compared with families with one or two vehicles, vehicle-less families should be given better rates to win a plate, said Meng, who added that it's not difficult to confirm how many vehicles a family in Beijing owns.

Lastly, the commission is also considering the idea that future vehicle owners must have or own a parking spot in order to qualify for the lottery.


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