Vehicles run amid heavy smog and thick fog in Beijing, Dec. 25, 2015.(Photo: China News Service/Jin Shuo)
In 2015, 23.85 million new cars were registered in China, taking car ownership up to 172 million, according to the Ministry of Public Security on Monday.
The ministry's traffic management bureau said in a statement that as of the end of last year, vehicle ownership had reached 279 million, with over 61 percent being cars, marking a transition from motorcycles to automobiles as a major means of motor transportation.
Among the 136 million small-sized cars, about 91.5 percent are privately-owned ones, the statement said.
For every 100 households there are 31 private cars, the statement said, adding that in big cities such as Beijing and Shenzhen, the number may top 60.
The number of new-energy cars has grown 169.48 percent from 2014, hitting 583,200, it said.
According to the statement, there are 40 cities that have car ownership of more than 1 million and in 11 cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Tianjin, car ownership exceeds 2 million.
Also, with about 33.75 million new drivers in 2015, China has more than 280 million licensed car drivers, the statement said.