SHANGHAI — As part of the EVZone project, thirty municipal electric buses are already cruising the streets of the district, with the goal of replacing all existing buses in the Anting section within the next two years. To date, the construction of 100 charging poles in public areas has been completed in the zone, with plans to end the year with 770 charging poles in operation, along with supporting charging facilities placed in both residential neighborhoods and office buildings. Plans further call for the placement of between two and three thousand charging poles, deemed a sufficient number to satisfy the recharging needs of local EVs, over the coming two to three years.
During the signing of the strategic agreement between Shanghai International Automobile City (SIAC) and Swedish car brand Volvo on November 8, SIAC general manager Rong Wenwei told reporters that six domestic car brands, including Chery, Zotye, BYD, Zhongke Shenjiang, SAIC Roewe and Haima, as well as the international brand Volvo, have dealerships within the EVZone. In addition, Fisker, GM Volt, BMW and Benz EVs soon expect to find their own dealerships within the zone. By the end of the next year, more than 20 EV models will be on view in the EVZone’s Test Drive Center, with more than 10 from outside China. Rong noted that the EVZone will be an ideal place for people to get a better understanding of the development status of EVs around the world.
Despite the cost of ownership of EVs being higher than that of traditional cars, there is still much room for reducing the operating costs of the vehicles. According to Rong, with the knowledge gained from a half year of experience in the operation of the zone’s eight EVs, it is as feasible to reduce the operating costs of EVs to 1,200-1,500 yuan (approx. US$189-236) per year, one tenth that of traditional vehicles, through the development of innovative business models. The EVs operating in the zone currently are for the most part leased ones, through deals worked out with U.S. car rental services leader Hertz and two other EV rental services research firms.
The first privately-owned eight pure EVs in Shanghai have been licensed and are on the road. At present, buyers of EVs in the city can receive a subsidy of up to 100,000 yuan (approx. US$15,700), of which, 40,000 yuan (approx. US$6,300) is provided by the central government and 60,000 yuan (approx. US$9,450) comes from the local government. Once a green light is given to waive the fee for the license plate for the EV, an additional 50,000 yuan (approx. US$7,870) will be saved by the buyers of the EVs. Rong said the local government is in the process of exploring and discussing the feasibility of the fee waiver, and odds look favorable for the waiver to be put in place soon.