Tesla included in Shenzhen EV license program

Published on March 27, 2015 by Tycho de Feijter

Tesla included in Shenzhen EV license program

Chinese media report that Tesla has been included in a special license program for electric cars in the southern city of Shenzhen in Guangdong Province.

In December last year Shenzhen implemented a program to limit the number of new car licenses to 100.000 a year, in a bid to fight pollution and traffic jams. The number is divided by 80.000 licenses for petrol-powered cars and 20.000 licenses for electric cars.

When there is more demand than supply the license plates will be allocated by a lottery. Unsurprisingly, demand for license plates for petrol-powered cars far exceeded supply and a monthly lottery started in January. Unsurprisingly again, demand for license plates for electric cars was much lower than supply, with only 3% or 600 licenses allocated to car buyers. No lottery needed here, everybody who bought an electric car got a license. But!

So far, the 20.000 licenses were only for electric cars that were made in China, making it virtually impossible to legally register a Tesla Model S in Shenzhen. That now has been changed and Tesla is in the program, meaning that Tesla buyers can expect with utmost certainty they will get a license plate.

Whether this will mean much for official Tesla sales in Shenzhen is not sure. Tesla only has a single store in the city where sales have been slow from the beginning. The company also battles an aggressive gray market (parallel import), always a big problem down south, where brand new Model S cars are offered below market price. Some sources even say they gray market sells more Teslaas than Tesla.


They know how to sell a car. Model S cars at a gray-market dealer in Shenzhen.

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