YINCHUAN -- Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region started construction on Wednesday for its first electric vehicle charging station as part of an ambitious "new energy" vehicle plan that is unfolding in China.
The station, which is being built in the town of Ningdong, about 40 kilometers east of the region's capital city of Yinchuan, comprises 50 chargers and two charging posts, according to Gai Xinwu, a spokesman for the Ningxia Electric Power Company. The power company is responsible for building the station.
The station will be capable of charging or replacing batteries for 20 electric cars simultaneously upon its completion in August this year, Gai said.
It will take an electric vehicle about 10 minutes to finish a full recharging cycle, according to Gai.
The station will cost the power company 28.43 million yuan ($4.4 million) to build, Gai said.
The power company plans to build 33 charging stations and 1,620 charging posts in the region over the next five years.
Ningxia's construction of electric vehicle charging stations is part of the country's efforts to develop environmentally friendly vehicles.
China has carried out experimental programs concerning the use of these vehicles, including electric, hybrid and fuel cell vehicles, in 25 cities across the country.
According to a government statement released in September last year, China aims to have more than 500,000 "new energy" vehicles on the road by 2015 and 5 million by 2020.
In the meantime, China plans to build 4,000 electric vehicle charging stations over the next five years and another 6,000 before 2020, according to the statement.