Chinese City Puts a Cap on New Car Registrations to Curb Congestion and Pollution

Shenzhen, a city in southern China with a population of 11 million, is the latest to cap the number of new car plates to just 100,000 per year in order to reduce traffic and air pollution.

The city, which is close to Honk Kong, has followed the lead of other big Chinese cities, like Beijing and Shanghai, in putting a cap on the number of new vehicles that can be registered annually, as the world’s biggest car market is struggling to deal with the smog and congestion issues.

Currently, there are at least 3 million vehicles at the streets of Shenzhen. Bloomberg reports that the quota that’s been imposed for the next five years includes an allocation for 20,000 electric vehicles and, according to the city’s police bureau, can be adjusted if changes in air pollution, traffic or car demand occur.

Half of the registrations will be distributed by auction and the rest, including the ones for electric vehicles, by a lottery. The Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences reports that vehicle emissions are the second biggest contributor to the smog in China, after coal consumption.

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