China’s Green Licence Plates Scheme Goes National

China’s Green Licence Plate Timeline

On the 20th of November, it was announced that China’s green new energy license plates would be rolled out across the nation in three stages. Previously, the green licence plates had been implemented in Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuxi, Jinan, and Shenzhen on the 1st of December of 2016.

The Traffic Management Bureau, which is part of the Ministry of Public Security, announced that the special license plates for new energy vehicles would be rolled out in three stages.

The first stage, starting on the 20th of November 2017, will spread the green licence plate scheme into these cities: Baoding, Changchun, Fuzhou, Qingdao, Zhengzhou, Zhongshan, Liuzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Kunming, Langfang, and Hefei.

The second stage, set at the end of 2017, will spread it to all the provincial capitals and additional major cities.

The third stage, set for the first half of 2018, will have the scheme online for the whole country.

Summarized more simply:

1st of December 2016: Shanghai, Nanjing, Wuxi, Jinan, and Shenzhen

20th of November 2017: Baoding, Changchun, Fuzhou, Qingdao, Zhengzhou, Zhongshan, Liuzhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Kunming, Langfang and Hefei.

2018: China


In Beijing and other first tier Chinese cities, the green licence plates have faced a growing problem. Due to the high desirability and sales of electric cars, the number plates have become oversubscribed. The Beijing passenger car index control management office has announced that green licence plates are oversubscribed this year and that 80,000 people are in line for the 2018 licence plates. This means that if you apply today, you would most likely have to wait until 2019 to get a licence plate. Although, this is based on current policy and modifications might happen in the future.

Types of Green Licence Plates

The green licence plates are split into two categories, small electric vehicles and large electric vehicles. The small electric vehicle plate is gradated green, while the large electric vehicle plate combines both yellow and green. Additionally, the green plates increase the numbers available from 5 to 6 and the Ministry of Public Security has implemented anti-counterfeiting technology.

Because new energy vehicles include non-electric vehicles, the new plates have to use letters to distinguish between them. D for electric and F for non-electric new energy vehicle. The small vehicle plates put the letter at the start of the number but after the region identifier, whereas the large vehicle plates put the identifier at the end of the number.

The new number plate system also benefits from a unified national system for selection, unified payment, and supervision to remove the ability of gaming the system.

Voluntary Replacement and Exclusive Services

Owners of new green licence plates can select from an online portal to choose a new plate number and book a time to pick it up. Additionally the green licence plates have special windows to speed up the licence plate system.

Growing Market

The Ministry of Public Security announced that the number of new energy vehicles has reached 1 million in China — although, note that this does not mean 1 million pure electric cars. The statistics indicate that out of the 1,018,000 vehicles, 825,000 are pure electric vehicles and 193,000 are plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) indicate that in October, the sales of new energy vehicles exceeded 90,000, which is up 107% over the same period last year. For the first 10 months of 2017, the production and sale of new energy vehicles were 514,000 units and 490,00 units, respectively. Which is up more than 45% growth over the same period last year.

The growth year by year of new energy vehicles and electric vehicles is astonishing, but with each passing year, we are seeing the development of a robust global ecosystem — big players in the oil world seem to be waking up to this sea-change in the economy and shifting investments.

Additional Support for New Energy Vehicles

The Central bank of China and the China Banking Regulatory Commission jointly issued a notice on “Adjustment of auto loans related policy notice” to go into effect on the 1st of January 2018. For new energy vehicles for personal use, the maximum loan amount is 85%, and for commercial new energy vehicles, it is 75%. For conventional vehicles for personal use, it is 80%, giving a boost to those thinking about purchasing a new energy vehicle.


China keeps pushing forward in its development of green transportation. It is good news to see the pilot of green licence plates going national, which enables more cities to distinguish between electric and conventional cars, which allows them to develop measures to support local sustainable transport policy.

China is producing a huge amount of news related to sustainable transport. Hopefully we can share more developments from China soon.

China Daily
China GuangdongTV

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