Tesla buyers in in Shanghai, China, are getting even more of an incentive to choose its electric sedans. Each purchase of a Model S in the city will come with a free license plate.

That might not sound very important, but Shanghai operates under a government-organized auction system to distribute plates. Last year, they were selling for as much as $15,000, according to Car News China. The measure is a way to control the number of cars on the road, which contribute to the city's bad traffic and poor air quality.

Electric cars are exempt from the auctions and get a free license plate. However, that rule only covers Chinese-made electric cars. Obviously, Tesla doesn't build cars there (at least for now). But the Shanghai government will exempt 3,000 foreign electric cars per automaker to receive free plates, according to CNC. After they are gone, the company would have to go back and ask for more.

Tesla confirmed the plan to Autoblog and pointed out there was a small blurb about it in the automaker's Q1 2014 financial release: "Model S drivers in the city will be entitled to free license plates, thereby avoiding the usual public auction price of $10,000 to $15,000 per plate." It certainly seems like a great enticement to grab early buyers for the Model S there.


I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.


    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      purrpullberra
      • 7 Months Ago
      This is exactly what I predicted would happen a couple of months back. I said that there are a LOT of important people running China that will do almost anything to get them to shift to EV's. This is in no small pert due to the way Tesla has treated the Chinese consumer. This is a very important sign as to the way the government will deal with Tesla and yet another sign that Tesla has almost nothing in common with traditional auto manufacturers. I honestly think this is a sign that Tesla will get this treatment for the ModelX and the genIII car coming. No others are close to doing what Tesla is: putting desirable EV's on the road. It's the only way to get China to shift from ICE'd cars. This is an important win for Tesla and consumers in China. Equivalent tax-breaks should be coming next and together those moves alone will guarantee Tesla's future with genIII. China alone could keep Tesla alive.
      Technoir
      • 7 Months Ago
      If it proves successful in China, it could mean hundreds of thousands in sales.....10x more than US sales.
      george
      • 7 Months Ago
      I often hear of someone who knows someone who bought a Tesla and says it's the greatest car they have ever owned. Well, duh, for $100,000.......it better be. I doubt anyone has ever purchased a car for that kind of money and hated it. And I also think it is the Prius factor, where people pretend it is better than it really is, so they don't look foolish for buying a $100K fast golf cart.
        Grendal
        • 7 Months Ago
        @george
        I finally test drove the Model S on Saturday and it is truly an amazing car. In many ways it redefines what a car is. There is a good reason that it has amazing reviews and won Motor Trend's Car of the Year by an unprecedented unanimous vote. The price of the version I will hopefully buy is $72K. With the gas and maintenance savings it should come out to the equivalent of a $50K gas car for how long I intend to drive it. Buy what you want, but the revolution has begun. The most amazing thing isn't the 100% torque at 0 MPH in my opinion. The most amazing thing is the incredible torque at 50 MPH. In an ICE car, when you step on it at 50 MPH to pass someone, there is always a pause as the car downshifts for more power. That doesn't happen in the Model S. You step on the power and turn the wheel where you want the car to go and it just goes there. It is so clearly superior to a gas car that there is no comparison. Try it and then decide. Until you do, you are just talking out of your @ss.
          Dactyl
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Grendal
          "You step on the power and turn the wheel where you want the car to go and it just goes there." I had the same pleasant surprise when I test drove a Leaf in San Diego 4 years ago. So, I bought one and I've enjoyed that capability ever since (3+yrs now). I'll have to admit, a Tesla will "get there first" when it comes to picking out a spot (my spot!) in merging into traffic (that's why a Tesla is my next EV) but ICE's always lose out to me when I'm in my Leaf!
        Joeviocoe
        • 7 Months Ago
        @george
        Auto journalists and people who drive one disagree... even the ones who cannot afford it. There are plenty of Audi and MB, and BMW buyers or reviewers who have not been impressed at $80k+ vehicles... so I don't know what you're talking about.
        Neez
        • 7 Months Ago
        @george
        Dont' get me wrong, i'm not a tesla hater or tesla fanboy. I'm just objective and a bit skeptical in how the tesla will play out in the coming years. Most fanboys are simply too optimistic of tesla IMO, and their stock prices reflect that. That said, i did buy a used prius as my daily driver. My WRX gets about 25mpg, and i drive upwards of 4 hours per day on my commute. So i crunched the numbers, and my 2011 prius i got for $13k actually gets around 50-52mpg real world hand calculated average, that's driving 70mph on the highway with some congestion. So getting double the fuel mileage, i'm saving about $200 a month, which works out to about a 5 year payback, which is about how long i'll keep it. The prius does make sense if you do a ton of driving, especially in urban areas. However, if you don't drive alot, the prius doesn't make much sense, the interior, handling, road noise etc.... is equivalent to many mid 90's economy cars and not up to today's standards.
        Neez
        • 7 Months Ago
        @george
        Dont' get me wrong, i'm not a tesla hater or tesla fanboy. I'm just objective and a bit skeptical in how the tesla will play out in the coming years. Most fanboys are simply too optimistic of tesla IMO, and their stock prices reflect that. That said, i did buy a used prius as my daily driver. My WRX gets about 25mpg, and i drive upwards of 4 hours per day on my commute. So i crunched the numbers, and my 2011 prius i got for $13k actually gets around 50-52mpg real world hand calculated average, that's driving 70mph on the highway with some congestion. So getting double the fuel mileage, i'm saving about $200 a month, which works out to about a 5 year payback, which is about how long i'll keep it. The prius does make sense if you do a ton of driving, especially in urban areas. However, if you don't drive alot, the prius doesn't make much sense, the interior, handling, road noise etc.... is equivalent to many mid 90's economy cars and not up to today's standards. No way i'm getting rid of my WRX, and the prius pays for itself and prevents me from putting miles on the subie.
      knightrider_6
      • 7 Months Ago
      Meanwhile here in the US the "small goberment" loving states are trying to ban sales 'Murika
        Neez
        • 7 Months Ago
        @knightrider_6
        They aren't trying to ban sales, just direct sales. Get your facts straight.
          m_2012
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Neez
          They are banning free market transactions by protecting a group that buys votes. Get your facts straight.
          Neez
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Neez
          My facts are straight??? Was anything i said incorrect??? No!!!
      Bernard
      • 7 Months Ago
      Isn't it crazy to see that China is more welcoming of new green technology than America is?
        Grendal
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Bernard
        China more than three times the US population. Even if they don't have as many wealthy people it's likely they have a lot more people that can afford the Model S.
        ScottT
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Bernard
        It's not really crazy since they have a far worse pollution problem then we do, so all else being equal I would expect them to embrace more green technology. Unfortunately, all else is never equal. In terms of total number of EV's, per capita, and per vehicle the US uses far more electrics than China and most by a pretty huge margin. So not only isn't it crazy, it's not true. But other than that, spot on with your post.
      Spec
      • 7 Months Ago
      Why are only Chinese electric cars exempted? Why do we put up with such offensive trade barriers from countries that already run massive trade surpluses? I don't understand that at all. All electric cars, whether foreign or domestic, qualify for the $7500 tax-credit in the USA. We really shouldn't put up with such discriminatory laws . . . especially from countries that run massive trade surpluses.
        Dmitriy Markelov
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Spec
        Because if it weren't for China how else would American businesses manufacture their products for peanuts so they could pay their execs and fat cat CEO's in gold bars while blue collar Americans suffer under the burden of no jobs and crap salaries.
          Grendal
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Dmitriy Markelov
          Sad but true. Short term financial gains for long term problems and a slow death to the economy.
      purrpullberra
      • 7 Months Ago
      This is exactly what I predicted would happen a couple of months back. I said that there are a LOT of important people running China that will do almost anything to get them to shift to EV's. This is in no small pert due to the way Tesla has treated the Chinese consumer. This is a very important sign as to the way the government will deal with Tesla and yet another sign that Tesla has almost nothing in common with traditional auto manufacturers. I honestly think this is a sign that Tesla will get this treatment for the ModelX and the genIII car coming. No others are close to doing what Tesla is: putting desirable EV's on the road. It's the only way to get China to shift from ICE'd cars. This is an important win for Tesla and consumers in China. Equivalent tax-breaks should be coming next and together those moves alone will guarantee Tesla's future with genIII. China alone could keep Tesla alive.
      FuelToTheFire
      • 7 Months Ago
      Actually, a Tesla would have MORE of an environmental impact, because the electricity used by it is powered by COAL. COAL is a far less efficient source than gasoline. So it's actually LESS environmentally friendly than the average SUV which the eco-nazis hate.
      FuelToTheFire
      • 7 Months Ago
      Actually, a Tesla would have MORE of an environmental impact, because the electricity used by it is powered by COAL. COAL is a far less efficient source than gasoline. So it's actually LESS environmentally friendly than the average SUV which the eco-nazis hate.
      Avinash Machado
      • 7 Months Ago
      Good deal.
      DKY
      • 7 Months Ago
      These will likely sell like hot cakes (or maybe steamed buns?) over there. They'll have no problems hitting that 3k licence limit. They're already lower in price than the competitor's lux vehicles over there too. It's only a matter of time before TSLA starts manufacturing in China. They're the growing market that all manufacturers want to capture and they're more welcoming than the U.S. for EVs. Say what you will about the U.S. as innovators, but we're too oil-driven and lobbyists/lawyers slow progress in this industry.
    • Load More Comments