SHANGHAI'S first electric car is here but it may still be a long way to an easy ride.
Qian Jun, a local resident, yesterday received the keys to the white Roewe E50, complete with a license plate, at the Shanghai Gaozhan New Energy Vehicle Sales Services Co, the city's only electric car dealer.
Qian paid only 125 yuan (US$20) for the plates, which carry the initials "D" and "Z", that authorities say will be on all future plates of new-energy cars. The almost free plates are the city's incentives to promote green cars, which are struggling for commercial acceptance.
Getting behind the wheel, Qian, who works in the auto industry, seemed excited despite already owning a fuel-driven car. He had registered for the electric car even before the city announced hefty incentives in December because he liked the green mobility concept.
"I was very happy to know that I can get an almost free car plate besides the 40,000 yuan subsidy," said Qian. "But I had no idea that I would be the first to enjoy them."
Adding to the 54,000 yuan subsidy provided by the central government and the 40,000 yuan later announced by the city, Qian saved a further 75,000 yuan approximately that he would have to pay for a car plate. In short, Qian saved about 170,000 yuan and paid just about 130,000 yuan for a car that is priced at 234,900 yuan without the taxes.
Xu Weihan, founder and CFO of Shanghai Gaozhan, said it took the company about a week to get a green car plate for Qian, which, he said, was because the administration was still standardizing its procedures for handling such applications.
"We can now get it in a day," he said, adding that the company plans to deliver all the 230 cars for which orders have been placed, with plates, by March.
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