An employee of the Jinan vehicle administration department installs a plate on an electric car in Jinan, Shandong province, Dec 1, 2016.
China will issue special license plates for new energy vehicles in every city nationwide, following the success of a pilot program in five cities, in an effort to relieve pressure on energy use and protect the environment, the Ministry of Public Security announced on Sunday.
"The initiative will make it easier for the public to recognize new energy vehicles, and it plays an essential role in the development and upgrading of the new energy industry," the ministry said in a statement on Sunday.
Starting in November, new license plates for new energy vehicles will be issued in 10 additional cities, including Baoding in Hebei province, Changchun in Jilin province, Fuzhou in Fujian province and Kunming in Yunnan province. The initiative has been continued in the five cities of the pilot program－Shanghai, Nanjing and Wuxi in Jiangsu province, Jinan in Shandong province and Shenzhen in Guangdong province.
In the first half of next year, the new license plates will be available in all cities across the country, the ministry said.
Since 2013, policies have been launched nationwide to promote the development of new energy vehicles. Already more than 1 million such cars are on the road in China, the ministry said.
Traffic management departments will issue the new plates for people registering new energy vehicles or transferring their registration. New energy car owners who already have old license plates can decide whether to change to the new.
"New energy vehicle owners who continue using their ordinary plates will still be registered in a database and fall under the different management system. Those car owners will be eligible for the preferential policies," said Wang Qiang, deputy director of the ministry's Traffic Management Bureau.
For new registrations, car owners can go to the traffic management departments or choose a plate number at www.122.gov.cn or via the smartphone app Jiaoguan 12123－both offer the opportunity for car owners to chose a number they prefer or receive random numbers.
The ministry said the new plates are 40 mm wider than traditional plates and have an additional digit, signifying the vehicle is electric.
Smaller new energy cars will be issued green plates, and larger ones will get green and yellow plates, the ministry said.