Buyers of a Tesla Model S will get a free license plate in Shanghai, opening the way for Tesla sales in one of the largest and richest cities in China. Normally, buyers of a new car need to bid for a license plate on a government-organized auction, an attempt by the Shanghai municipal government to control the number of new cars on the road in a bid to battle pollution and traffic jams. Price of a license can go up to 15.000 USD.
Electric cars, like the Roewe E50 for example, are exempted from the license plate bidding system and buyers can get a license for free. The exemption however was only valid for made-in-China cars, until now.
The Shanghai government has granted foreign-made electric cars a special exemption. Buyers will get the license plate for free, just like buyers of a China-made electric car. But there is a catch; the exemption is valid only for 3000 cars per automaker. When these 3000 cars are sold out the automaker will have to go back to the Shanghai government to ask for more.
For Tesla that won’t matter that much as the company does not expect to sell 3000 cars very soon. Current price for the Model S ranges from 734.000 to 852.500 yuan or 121.000 to 140.000 USD, with official deliveries scheduled to start in June.