China rapidly expands electric vehicle charging network nationwide
China is rapidly expanding public charging points for new energy vehicles (NEVs) across the country. According to a report by Xinhua, China now has the 214,000 NEV public charging stations, the highest number of NEV public charging points in the world. The country aims at installing about 500,000 public NEV charging stations by 2020.
Although China has been rapidly expanding its NEVs charging network, the development of infrastructure and facilities to support NEVs are still lagging. According to the same Xinhua report, the Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei was quoted to say that the current 214,000 public NEV charging stations in China marked a 51% year on year increase.
At the same time, a total of 777,000 NEVs were sold in the Chinese market last year. According to a report by Reuters, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers estimated that NEV sales growth will reach around 40% this year.
To better support the booming NEV industry which output and sales are expected to hit 2 million annually by 2020, China now aims to install about 500,000 public NEV charging stations across the country. A challenge seems to be developing efficient business models to incentivise companies in the private sector to construct more charging facilities.
Recently, within this month, China has announced various initiatives to boost the use and development of NEVs in the country. As the world’s largest auto market, the use of NEVs is in line with the country’s policy to protect the environment despite its economic growth.
On Jan 16, a highway charging network for electric cars is put into operation in Chongqing city in southwest China, according to a report by Xinhua. The network covers 61 highway service stations in Chongqing.
The expansion of the charging network is part of State Grid’s plan to build a network of 200 charging stations and 2,500 charging poles in Chongqing by 2020. The state-owned electric utility company plans to establish a network of 120,000 public charging piles for electric cars in major regions in China by 2020.
Charging poles at highway service stations could switch output power to meet the energy needs of various types of electric cars. To use this service, drivers will need to apply for electric charging cars from the State Grid Chongqing Electric Power Company.
In terms of NEVs productions, according to a report by Straits Times, Anhui province of China targets to be a global leader in new energy vehicles (NEV)s manufacturing. The province is seeking to make a transition from producing household electrical appliances to manufacturing NEVs.
At the moment, Anhui province produces about a quarter of China’s household electronic appliances with its population of about 70 million. The plan to produce NEVs is seen as the province’s initiative to move local manufacturing up the value chain.
NEVs include electric cars and plug-in hybrids that combine a petrol engine with an electric motor and a rechargeable battery.
Feature photo: Visitor 7/ CC BY-SA 3.0