• Jan 3rd 2011 at 9:00AM
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Late last week, the city of Beijing, China, announced that it would enforce a measure that restricts vehicle registrations. The move is aimed at tackling the city's traffic congestion and improving its overall air quality. The law limits 2011 vehicle registrations to a mere 240,000, or one-third of the number recorded in 2010.

On Saturday, Beijing began accepting online license plate applications under the new system and the municipal government reports that, within the first 11 hours, 36,138 residents applied to register a vehicle. However, submitting an application in Beijing does not guarantee that a vehicle will receive the registration that's required to drive it on the city's roads. The municipal government will only issue 17,600 license plates per month, which will be selected at random, and applicants who are not drawn will automatically be placed back in the system for a chance at obtaining a license plate the following month. Could be a long list in a very short time...

[Source: People's Daily Online | Image: poeloq – C.C. License 2.0]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      Just look at that smog! The Chinese have huge coal deposits - why don't they use them to make methanol fuel, and make full flex fuel a required standard feature in their cars from now on? Methanol burns without smoke, soot, and particulate matter emissions. And that way they don't have to worry about us controlling the sea lanes their oil comes in on, let alone their northwest being radicalized by oil-funded extremists.

      And it's also pretty cheap to filter coal plant emissions for particulates (CO2 is another story, but first things first).

      Meanwhile a million Chinese a year are dying from smog-induced illness. (We lose 40,000).
        • 8 Months Ago
        David Martin, interesting link. I think natural gas-based methanol under-prices any other form of methanol, regardless of origin. Coal-based methanol would have to appeal to the Chinese on the basis of clean skies, lower health costs and attendant higher growth, and geostrategy.

        STL, depends on the liquid you're making the coal into. You can, with enough processing, turn coal into gasoline (as the Germans did in World War 2 and Jimmy Carter tried to have us do with Synfuels). But it's a LOT cheaper and easier to make methanol.
        • 8 Months Ago
        China uses so much coal that they are importing it.

        And I don't know if the coal-to-liquid processes are quite economically viable yet but I suspect they are close and we will be seeing CTL plants built during the next decade. We are oil junkies.
        • 8 Months Ago
        (In China)...'Current prices of gas-based methanol imported from the Middle East are well below domestic coal-based methanol prices.'

      • 8 Months Ago
      Uhh....I don't think this is going to help reduce the amount of vehicles on the road. Although the blackmarket is going to make huge money from all the fake plates and vehicle registrations and so on. China, they fake and steal everything known to man!
      • 8 Months Ago
      It would be nice to see them exempt EV's.
      Just the push they need.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Unfortunately these new drivers will be competing for the oil (aka fuel). According to laws of supply and demand this will drive up the price unless OPEC decides to increase production. OPEC wont do that. They discovered that if you limit production you make more money without buying a single piece of new equipment.
        • 8 Months Ago
        That's all fine if you subscribe to the theory that the supposed capacity reserves are what OPEC claim they are.
        'while we might debate endlessly whether it existed in 2005-2008 (and indeed some of us did spend a lot of 2005-2008 debating that exact question), what is indisputable is that it wasn't deployed to moderate prices in that time frame. Prices rose over $140, but Saudi production never went over 9.5mbd.'


        I would suggest that the least hypothesis is that the supposed potential to increase production does not exist, and boasts about it are simply made to maintain status within OPEC and delay transition to other energy sources.

        In any case, any hypothetical reserves which might enable production increases are dwarfed by rising demand in the likes of China, which alone is likely to build more cars than the whole of the US fleet in the next few years.
        There ain't the oil to run them on the most optimistic realistic estimates.
      • 8 Months Ago
      And in the US we complain about HOV lanes. We can't even imagine the government limiting our "unalienable right" to register a vehicle. Automakers and dealers would probably throw an even bigger fit than the (wannabe) drivers.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Perhaps China shouldn't have been so quick to roll through its "Ebike phase". With the proper bike routes, wouldn't an ebike commute be better than taking your new (expensive) car out for a weeks long traffic jam?

      China Traffic Jam Could Last Weeks

      /even back here in the good ol USofA, there's a dedicated bike/pedestrian route opening up near me that parallels the often jammed interstate..... I'm seriously considering.
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