By now, many of you may be aware of license plate quotas as a means to reduce the growth of the number of vehicles on the road as well as pollution. In China, major cities like Beijing and Shanghai have used license plate auctions for a number of years. In Shanghai, the cost of a license plate can cost nearly $15,000.

In an effort to stimulate the electric vehicle market, Shanghai exempted Chinese made electric vehicles from the license auction. Now, it has been confirmed that Shanghai will exempt foreign made electric vehicles as well with one caveat. The exemption only applies to the first 3,000 electric vehicles sold by a manufacturer. Once an automaker reaches 3,000, it must seek the approval of the Shanghai government for additional exemptions. News of this exemption was confirmed in Tesla’s Q1 financial statement release.

How soon will foreign automakers reach the 3,000 limit? Only time will tell. Official deliveries of the Tesla Model S start next month and may provide a good indication, especially in light of the cost of the car in China where it ranges from 734,000 to 852,500 yuan or 121,000 to 140,000 USD.


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