Activities in the electric vehicle demonstration project, established on April 23rd, 2011, centered in Shanghai’s Jiading district have been slowly building up steam over the course of the past ten months. The district welcomed the first members of its EV fleet back in May of 2011, a group of eight area residents who became Shanghai’s first private owners of pure EVs. In the months following the founding of the Jiading electric vehicle district, a number of major international companies have dedicated their support to the pilot program.

Contributions include GM’s delivery of Chevrolet Volt’s to serve as pilot vehicles for area residents and fleet owners, such as car rental giant Hertz, providing a fleet of vehicles for use in the demonstration. Companies outside of vehicle manufacturers and providers have also displayed an interest in helping to develop the districts EV support infrastructure, with GE installing charging stations and providing upgrades to the electrical grid.

Then in January, 2012, authorities announced the continued, active expansion of demonstration activities. Plans for the coming year include: expanding the number of installed charging stations to 2000; incentivizing private EV purchases; building up public interest for participating in demonstration activities; exploring potential business models, in leasing and sales markets; and reaching the target fleet size of 1000 electric vehicles. Additionally, stakeholders announced the addition of 30 fully electric buses into the district’s public transit system.

While the demonstration project was rumored to have experienced some minor setbacks last summer, the participation of a number of internationally proven companies invested in EV development, coupled with the continued commitment of local officials are a strong indication of the future project’s promising future potential.

Read more: Post on the formation of the demonstration zone at eco-urbanliving.com

Liberation Daily article on first EV owners

GM press release regarding Volt

Environment News Service report on GE & Hertz

Electric Vehicle Authority post on GE & Hertz

Report on 2012 plans

Report on coming activities (In Chinese)