China named Shanghai as the country’s pilot city for electric vehicle development.
Jiading District, in the city’s northwest, has been picked as the international demonstration zone for a fleet of electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrid ones.
Chinese Minister of Science and Technology Wan Gang said Shanghai is an important center of manufacturing, research and development of electric vehicles and gained valuable experience during last year’s Shanghai World Expo.
The project aims to have more than 10,000 electric vehicles in use in the district by 2012, said Fei Xiaoshu, deputy director of Jiading District.
She said six charging stations, one battery distribution station and one charging station especially for public transport would be set up by the end of this year.
The infrastructure will increase to 13,000 charging poles, 15 charging stations and two hydrogen refueling stations next year, covering main areas such as Park and Ride stops, supermarkets, hotels, cinemas, hospitals, schools and offices in Jiading’s Shanghai Automobile City area.
People will be able to try out the latest electric vehicles in Jiading as early as next month. Shanghai plans to expand the program to Minhang District, Chongming County, Lingang New City and Hongqiao transport hub by the end of 2012, setting up 25,000 charging poles in these areas.
By then, about 20,000 electric vehicles are expected to be running on streets citywide.
Last year, more than 1,000 new-energy vehicles were in use on the World Expo site.
In order to make the price of the new-energy cars more competitive, the central government has offered subsidies as much as 60,000 yuan (US$9,235) on the purchase price and the city will offer additional subsidies.
Jiading District is home to four manufacturers of environment-friendly cars and 10 research and development institutes for such vehicles.
Companies specializing in parts for new technology vehicles are also mushrooming in Jiading.
China has great ambitions for electric cars amid rising fuel prices and a growing demand to cut emissions.
Authorities are considering having more than 150,000 new energy cars in operation by 2012, including hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell cars.
The target will expand to more than 10 million such vehicles by the year 2020, the central government said.