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China to expand electric car charging

By Zheng Xin | China Daily Europe | Updated: 2017-02-19 15:24

A comprehensive electric vehicle recharge grid will be rolled out this year in major Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, the country's energy planner announced on Feb 9.

The National Energy Administration said it would further expand public fast-charge networks to enable users to power up within a close radius of their location.

China plans to build 800,000 charging points, including 100,000 public ones, for electric vehicles this year to meet increasing demand, the administration said.

A total of 100,000 public charging points were installed nationally last year, a tenfold increase over 2015, bringing the total number of public charging points in China to 150,000.

An analyst said China had a strong incentive to ramp up the penetration of electric vehicles in big cities because of the country's widespread air pollution.

Setting up charging stations ahead of demand would greatly promote the use of electric vehicles in China, which would in turn yield a number of benefits, according to Asian utilities and infrastructure analyst Joseph Jacobelli at Bloomberg Intelligence.

Electric power companies in China have been asked to beef up EV charging stations nationwide, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.

State Grid Corp of China, the nation's electric power giant, said recently that it planned to build 10,000 charging stations and 120,000 charging units by 2020 to further expand public fast-charge networks for electric vehicles in major Chinese cities, including Beijing, Shanghai and Hangzhou.

The company said it plans to build 29,000 charging stations this year, up from 22,000 in 2016. It aims to expand its fast-charge networks to 47,000 by 2020.

Such moves are positive, Jacobelli says, because drivers are reluctant to use electric vehicles unless they have easy access to reliable charging facilities.

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