GM China signs an agreement with the China Automotive Technology and Research Center to manage and jointly fleet test Chevrolet Volt extended range electric vehicles in Beijing for a 1-year period, with the EVs to be delivered to CATARC in April.

The team will gather real-world performance data, including charging and infrastructure functions and consumer needs, their joint statement says. CATARC completed a similar study last year for the Prius plug-in hybrid under an agreement with Toyota.

Ray Bierzynski, GM China’s executive director-electrification strategy, says the new partnership will provide GM with access to China’s top opinion leaders and policymakers.

“It is important for us to offer those in key positions to affect policy an opportunity to experience firsthand our variety of electrification solutions for reducing the automotive industry’s dependence on petroleum,” he says.

Bierzynski is a former president of GM Shanghai’s Pan-Asia Technical Automotive Center.

CATARC Director Zhao Hang says in a statement that the “partnership is strategically important to us. The Volt, with its cutting-edge and practical technologies, will provide information to assist us in preparing the Chinese market for future electrified vehicles.”

GM China has installed charging points for the Volt at Tsinghua University, the office of SAE China, a Chevrolet dealership in Beijing and at the auto maker’s headquarters in Shanghai. Charging facilities also will be added to CATARC’s Tianjin headquarters.

Last November, CATARC signed a renewal agreement with the Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago to continue research in hybrid powertrains, batteries and fuel efficient technologies. The laboratory provides this service for the U.S. Department of Energy.

The research group also has a cooperative agreement with SAE International, which has facilities adjacent to the CATARC vehicle-testing center in Shanghai.