State Grid Corp of China will accelerate the construction of public charging networks in China’s Central and Eastern regions, aiming to make medium and long-range trips in electric vehicles an everyday reality.
The State-owned company is ramping up efforts to build a public charging network that covers Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei province, Shandong province, and all cities in the Yangtze River Delta region, according to Que Shifeng, deputy general manager of State Grid Electric Vehicle Service Co, a wholly owned subsidiary of State Grid.
“We will explore various ways to facilitate electric mobility in the future, and fully utilize China’s current and growing electric vehicle fleet,” Que said in a recent interview.
State Grid launched a charging network program in 2010, when there were only 1,122 charging piles nationwide and no unified charging standards.
After years of efforts, State Grid has built 55,800 piles and operates a smart system for managing the internet of vehicles, which integrates information from more than 147,000 charging piles owned by other service providers.
By the end of 2018, the number of charging piles in China is expected to exceed 225,000, according to the company.
The move is part of State Grid’s long-term commitment to popularize long-distance electric vehicle trips among consumers and reduce power-related concerns.
The Chinese government has provided various incentives to promote the industry, aiming to reduce polluting emissions from vehicles.
There were more than 1.7 million electric vehicles registered in China in the first half of the year. The country plans to produce 1 million more annually by 2020, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.
On Sept 19, a fleet of eight Chinese electric vehicles arrived in Beijing, finishing a 10-day, 3,200-kilometer trip across the nation. The project was initiated by State Grid Electric Vehicle Service and China Southern Power Grid’s unit in Guangzhou.
The motorcade, led by Chinese electric vehicle company Nio Inc, set off on Sept 10 from Guangzhou, Guangdong province, to the nation’s capital.
Su Zhipeng, marketing director of Guangzhou Power Supply Co, a unit of China Southern Power Grid, said it is necessary to continuously improve charging networks nationwide to make them smart, efficient and flexible.
Su said his company is developing technical standards to optimize its charging stations to better serve drivers.
More joint efforts from various parties are needed to ensure almost all electric vehicles can be recharged at all stations, said Shen Fei, vice-president of Nio.