China unveils the world’s largest electric vehicle charging network

WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF

China’s ambitions to embrace renewable energy and electric vehicles shows no signs of slowing down, and they’re leaving other countries in the dust.

 

Last year the US Government announced it was going to start rolling out a huge network of electric charging points across the country to help accelerate the nations switch from petrol and diesel cars to electric ones, but not to be left out the Chinese Government, who are now mulling the idea of banning the sale of combustion engine vehicles “soon,” and who are about to invest $30 Billion in building out the world’s largest Electric Vehicle (EV) battery factory, has been busy too. This week they announced they’ve finished integrating 167,000 active electric vehicle charging points all across China into the State Grid Corporation of China’s (SGCC) telematics platform, and, as a result, China, not Europe or the US, is now home to the world’s largest EV charging network.

 

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By working with 17 charging station operators, the SGCC now offers more than 1 million kilowatt hours of power to the network each day and users can pay for their juice automatically via the networks new automated payment platform.

“China has built the largest EV charging network in the world to date, with the highest number of facilities, the broadest coverage, and the most advanced technology,” said spokesman Wang Yanfang.

Meanwhile the stats show that SGCC has built 5,526 charging and battery swap stations and more than 40,000 charging points since 2006, with a fast charging motorway network that covers 121 cities in 16 provinces where the average distance between stations is less than 50 kilometers. And that’s not bad at all, especially when you compare it to London where the number of charging points is so sparse at the start of the year Uber, who, for the time being are ironically now banned from London, was forced to install their own EV charging stations in order to get their electric fleet off the ground…

 

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As for what happens next in China though, well the SGCC plans to expand its own charging network count to 120,000, and by 2020 their new inter-city fast charging network will cover Beijing, Tianjin, Hebei, Shandong, all cities in the Yangtze River Delta, and 202 major cities in other regions. Furthermore, over time, according to Yanfang the company will also be working to reduce the maximum distance between charging stations to less than 5 kilometers in suburban areas, less than 3 kilometers in inner suburbs, and less than 1 kilometer in urban areas.

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