Will the “ban half of Beijing’s cars” happen?




The proposal to ban half of Beijing’s vehicles from the roads based on odd-even days during the winter is being discussed since last December. The 2016 People’s Congress of Beijing took place Mid January and no decision has been taken.

b083fe955fd618139ec602The current proposal is to permanently adopt the odd-even car ban during the city’s “winter heating season” from Nov 15 to March 15″ every year. Till December 2015, the odd-even system was only implemented for large events happening in Beijing, such as the 2008 Olympic Games, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in November 2014, the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II +IAAF Championships in August / September 2015; but in December 2015, Beijing issued its first ever “red alert” for pollution. 

What Beijing learned during last half car bans?

  • During last car half ban, Beijing’s public transportation system handled 2 million extra passengers.
  • Vehicle emissions would be responsible for about 20 to 30 percent of the city’s smog, as per verified by Beijing Environmental Protection Bureau during previous bans. In Beijing – not in other places, vehicle emissions are the single biggest source of PM2.5; burning of coal for power plants is at the 2nd place. 



Ban or not, Beijing is taking measures to push Beijing residents to use public transportation

  • By 2020, Beijing residents should be able to find a subway station within 750 meters of their homes or offices,
  • By 2021, Beijing will count 29 subway lines and 999 km of track, which represents 80 percent more than its current length. The city government wants to ensure that using subway is more convenient and efficient than driving a car!

And if you can’t public transportation, then ride an electric car!

Since Mid 2015, the odd-even ban and the 1-day ban a week doesn’t apply to electric cars in Beijing and the lottery to get a plate number before purchasing the car is not as restrictive as regular cars (30,000 free license plates for EVs in 2015 in Beijing). 

No wonder why BYD sells 600 electric vehicles a day in Beijing (January 2016 figure). 

Even the Beijing governments shows the example: by 2016, 30% of municipal vehicles must use batteries or fuel cells! 

If some are still reluctant to use electric cars, the government takes measures to ensure the convenience: the future residential, office buildings, shopping malls, hospitals, hotels, tourist areas and other buildings should have charging station in the parking area.



If there is no doubt that non-clean energy vehicles have major contribution to the air pollution in Beijing, using public transportation and restricting the use of the car to really needed situation will require Beijing citizens to remove one sentence to their dream of success: “To live in a warm apartment, to drive a car and to have a healthy child / son”.





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I am living in China since 2007. I am sharing my experiences for other expatriates to make their stay in Beijing more enjoyable. As I am writing this blog for SCOUT Real Estate agency, I am also computing updates about the Real Estate market in Beijing, not only on residential properties, but as well on commercial locals and offices. Hope you enjoy your reading!