Shanghai, May 12 (Gasgoo.com) An increasing number of vehicles has been registered in Beijing city over the past few months and the Chinese capital is expected to have five million cars on the roads by the end of this year, according to government data, media reported.
In the first four months of the year, a total of 248,000 cars were registered in Beijing, up 23.8% from a year earlier, the Beijing municipal taxation office, collector of auto purchasing taxes, told AFP.
The rapid increase in car registration indicates that an average of 15,500 new cars go on the city's roads every week. At this rate, the cars in Beijing will likely number nearly five million by the end of the year, one year after the "four-million" mark was broken.
In 1949, there were about 2,300 cars in Beijing, and it took Beijing nearly half a century to hit the one-million cars mark in 1997, then only six and a half years to register the second million, and the pace of growth is continuing to accelerate.
The heavily polluted air in Beijing will remain a big concern, and the problem is worsened by high demand for private cars from its increasing mid-class and other affluent residents.
For the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the city banned government's and private vehicles from the capital's roads for one day each week to reduce congestion and emissions.