HANGZHOU, March 25 -- East China's Hangzhou City announced on Tuesday that it will restrict issuance of new car licenses, making it the sixth Chinese city to clamp down on car ownership in a bid to ease traffic congestion and combat air pollution.
The city government will issue new plates via auction and lottery from Wednesday, according to a press conference on Tuesday evening.
The government will restrict the number of plates issued every year to 80,000.
Eighty percent of the quota will be decided by lottery and the remaining 20 percent will be auctioned with a starting price of 10,000 yuan (1,628 U.S. dollars) each.
"The split between lottery and auction is intended to maintain fairness and efficiency at the same time," said Zhu Yunfu, deputy secretary general of the Hangzhou municipal government.
About one in 30 applicants is expected to be successful in the lottery, said Fan Jianjun, head of the municipal transportation bureau.
Fan did not specify how often the lottery will be held.
Meanwhile, the city government will also ramp up an existing quota system that allows cars access to the city on certain days depending on the last digit of their plates, with two numbers banned each workday.
Hangzhou first introduced the traffic restriction scheme on Oct. 8, 2011, keeping 20 percent of vehicles off the road between 7 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. on workdays. From May 5 this year, the banning period will be extended to run from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Guiyang and Tianjin have already limited the number of vehicles registered each year.
Beijing and Guiyang issue plates through a lottery, while Shanghai uses a bidding scheme. Guangzhou and Tianjin adopt both systems.