Chinese electric car startup Xiaopeng Motors, also known as XPENG, is expected to receive a specialized license plate today for its electric models from the traffic regulator of Guangzhou, local media is reporting. This is the first time for a Chinese municipality to issue an official plate to electric cars made by a tech firm.

Chinese internet firms are racing to the automobile industry that’s been dominated by traditional car makers like GM and VW. But while some of the pioneers in this trend plan to move into mass production, a regulatory gap has put them at an inferior position when competing with traditional competitors because there’s no precedent in the country to issue plates for electric cars made by tech firms. This leads to very practical problems that might hinder these electric cars from hitting the road.

Read More: China to see electric vehicle boom before the rest of the world: Tom Tan, President of BorgWarner China

For all the in-use electric cars that made by XPENG, NIO, and WM Motor, they run with a temporary paper plate, the report cited people with knowledge of the matter. The current news means that Chinese tech companies are finally gaining an equal footing with their traditional competitors in the electric car manufacturing market.

China’s nascent electric sector is booming quickly with the emergence of several unicorns such XPENG, NIO and WM Motor. The government is also quickly adapting to new mobility technologies. NIO, a Chinese electric vehicle startup, and the state-owned automaker SAIC Motor just received the licenses for road tests of driverless vehicles.

Emma Lee

Emma Lee is Shanghai-based tech writer, covering startups and tech happenings in China and Asia in general. We are looking for stories related to tech and China. Reach her at lixin@technode.com.

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