Registering a Tesla Model S in Beijing Won’t Be Easy


A lot of cheers went out when Tesla Motors announced it “fairly priced” the Model S at $121,000 in China.

Gone is the 60 kWH Version in China - Your Choices Are Limited to 85 kWH and P85 Versions of the Model S

Gone is the 60 kWH Version in China – Your Choices Are Limited to 85 kWH and P85 Versions of the Model S

The price is indeed fair and it was immediately assumed that orders would pour in.

And Tesla does have a fair amount of Model S orders in China to fill now now, but there’s a problem…a BIG problem for those who live in Beijing.

You see, Beijing issues license plates/registrations based on a lottery system.  The chances of winning the license plate lottery are between 1:50 and 1:100, depending on the numbers of applicants at the current time of selection.

That wouldn’t be a problem for Tesla Model S buyers in Beijing if the Model S were exempt from the lottery like domestically built electric vehicles are, but the Tesla is not exempt.

Peng Pei, a 28-year old public servant at a municipal engineering office who lives in Beijing, says the biggest obstacle in securing a Tesla Model S is the lottery.  Pei has the funds to buy a Model S, but wouldn’t be able to register it without first winning the lottery.  Pei has tried for 2 years at the lottery with no luck thus far.

Pei says the Model S is her dream ride (she’s test driven it and loves it), but the setup of the lottery system in Bejing, which makes foreign-built EVs not eligible, likely means that owning a Model S will continue to be just a dream for Pei and others in Beijing.

If Pei wins the lottery and places a Model S order, the wait time today is 6 months for delivery.

Meanwhile, EVs that are lottery exempt are selling like crazy in Beijing.

Source: South China Morning Post

Categories: Tesla


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13 Comments on "Registering a Tesla Model S in Beijing Won’t Be Easy"

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I can’t see how Tesla can possibly hit their sales targets for China if the situation is the same in other Chinese cities.

If everyone entering the lottery is trying to register a ModelS, then the chances of winning are irrelevant to Tesla. The more important pieces of information would be how often is the lottery and is there any absolute limit on the number of plates issued. For example, if the lottery is performed every time someone tries to register a non-exempt vehicle and there is no limit to how often this can happen, then Tesla needs only to be the most desirable vehicle to be registered.

Tesla would be lumped in with all ICE vehicles in the lottery, which occurs once a month. And yes, there is an absolute limit on the number of plates issued per month. It varies though. Typically it’s around 20,000 per month, but 1.5 million people apply.

Thanks for clarifying Eric. The details help to put this in perspective.

I believe there are two license plate lottery systems. One for gasoline cars and one for new-energy vehicle plates. EV plates actually have better chance in their lottery vs the gasoline plates lottery.

While the city received more than 90 bids for each available permit for conventional gasoline autos in the latest draw held today, only 1,428 people applied for the 1,666 new-energy vehicle plates offered, according to a statement on the municipal government’s website.


It should be noted that on the ‘EV lottery’ you still have to buy an approved EV…it’s not open to any and all EVs that are available in China for purchase.

Thanks Jay and DaveMart for pointing that out. I was under the impression that each local government adopts their own lottery exemption(s)…Shanghai for example adopted lottery exemption for EV’s while Beijing did not. What I wasn’t sure about is if this included the Tesla Model S across all of China since it is imported?

Look at the article again.
As they are not produced in China the Tesla S is lumped in with the ICE vehicles in the lottery.

Stupid officials.

The lottery was introduced to limit the amount of toxin-spewing vehicles.

The government should not be exempting any vehicle;
the lottery should apply as defined – ONLY to vehicles which spew toxins!

No. It’s also to limit the number of cars. It doesn’t make any sense to allow more cars than having infrastructure capacity.

For a country that wants to “Clear the air” there, that’s downright counterproductive.

Almost sounds like the CDA is involved…

China Dealers Association. 🙂

Tesla will eventually produce the Model S in China.

End of problem.

When do you predict this production begins, and what kind of a profit-split do you think Tesla will collect on such a JV?