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