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China rapidly expands electric vehicle charging network nationwide

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