Electric vehicles in China

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Both grid operators are investing heavily in electric vehicle charging stations. China is expected become the main market for battery and plug-in hybrid vehicles in the mid-term and the largest market for battery electric vehicles in 2012. The number of electric vehicles on the road is forecasts to reach between 1 and 5 million electric vehicles by 2020. Generous subsidies are likely to drive the market in the short term. Government subsidies of RMB 3,000 per kWh are available for plug-in and pure electric vehicles meeting government requirements, up to RMB 50,000 per unit for PHEVs and RMB 60,000 per unit for BEVs. An additional subsidy of RMB 30,000 for PHEVs and RMB 60,000 for BEVs is available in Shenzhen for new vehicles certified and passed by experts in July 2010. Moreover, as part of the scheme in Shenzhen a total of 22,200 charging posts for low-speed, middle-speed and high-speed charging are planned to create a diversified and networked charging system. This should result in the province achieving its target of 25,000 privately-owned new energy vehicles on the road by 2012. Most battery and electronics manufacturers are located in this province, perhaps explaining why this incentive exists.

For buses a government subsidy of RMB 500,000 per bus was available for 1,000 buses in 2010, and up to RMB 600,000 for fuel cell-powered large commercial buses.

Sixteen of the county’s car manufacturers, amounting to a total of seventy one hybrid, electric and fuel-efficient vehicle models, are eligible for an additional government subsidy of CNY 3,000 (USD 441) per vehicle. Companies that will receive the subsidy include BYD, Hyundai Motors’ Chinese venture, Shanghai General Motors and Ford-backed Changan-Ford-Mazda joint venture.

Two key policies to promote the development of the electric vehicles include: 10% of cars on the road must be emission-free by 2013 and 20% of power has to come from renewable resources by 2020. To finance the uptake of vehicles, the Ministry of Finance in China has announced plans to spend RMB 4 billion to support the commercialisation of new energy vehicles in 2010.

The State Grid has published six standards for electric vehicles and electric vehicle infrastructure, and by the end of the year plans to have completed 75 charging stations; 6,209 AC charging spots and battery replacement stations are proposed. Already the State Grid has commissioned 101 electric vehicles, 30 pilot charging stations and, through the Beijing municipal government, 7 electric bus lanes and 58 electric buses.

The National China Grid Company, part of the State Grid, commissioned its first large electric charging station for electric vehicles, the Nanhu Charging Station, in Tangshan in March this year. The RMB 19 million station has 10 charging spots for 10 vehicles, two large DC chargers and eight medium chargers. This will serve the 19 electric vehicles on the road in Tanshan. A further 3 charging stations and 100 charging poles are planned for 2010 through strategic agreements between the North China Grid and the municipal governments of Tangshan, Zhangjiakou, Qinhuangdao, Langfang and Chengde.

In December 2009 the Southern Grid commissioned its first electric automobile charging facility in Shenzhen consisting of two charging stations and 134 charging poles. Another eight charging facilities have been installed since then. Furthermore six charging facilities have been installed in Guangzhou before the Asian Games commence in November this year.

Before the end of 2010 the Southern Grid expected to construct electric vehicle charging stations in Liuzhou, Guangxi. The first station should be a RMB 3 million station covering 700 m2 in the Yanghe industrial new district. Southern Grid is also in discussions with the Chinese automotive company, BYD, to construct an electric vehicle charging station.

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