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December 11, 2015

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E-car hire scheme set to roll into Chongming

CHONGMING County is set to become the latest area of Shanghai to join the EVCARD electric-car rental scheme, which made its debut in Jiading District at the start of the year and has been expanding steadily ever since.

Over the coming months, 168 service centers — where vehicles can be picked up, dropped off and recharged — will be opened in the county, of which 67 are scheduled to be up and running before the start of the Spring Festival, which falls on February 8, the local government said yesterday.

The scheme will be managed by the Chongming government in cooperation with Shanghai International Automobile City Group, which coordinates the project on a citywide level.

Since its launch in Jiading, the self-service scheme has been rolled out to the Pudong New Area and Jing’an, Changning and Minhang districts, and now covers more than 500 service centers.

While it is open to all-comers, users must first register their name and address, driving licence and credit card details on the EVCARD app — which can be downloaded from the usual places — and pay a 1,000 yuan (US$155) deposit. They are then sent a membership card, which acts as a key to releasing and returning cars to and from the various service centers.

Reservations can be made through the app, which also provides information about vehicle availability and rental costs.

A choice of Roewe E50, Chery EQ and BMW Zinoro 1E cars are currently available through the scheme, with charges starting from 15 yuan for the first 30 minutes, and rising by 0.50 yuan per minute, to a daily maximum of 180 yuan. Recharging is free.

All of the service centers planned for Chongming will initially offer only Roewe E50 models. These have a maximum range of 120 kilometers, which means they can easily make the 70-odd kilometer one-way trip to downtown Shanghai.

Users are not obliged to return their vehicles to their departure point, but can drop them off at any of the service centers across the city.

Chongming County comprises three islands — Chongming, Changxing, and Hengsha — at the mouth of the Yangtze River. It has a geographical area of about 1,400 square kilometers and is home to about 688,000 people.



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