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China builds first smart zone for EV charging, battery-swapping

Updated : 2024-03-11
(Xinhua)

NANJING -- Construction of China's first smart electric vehicle charging and battery-swapping demonstration zone has been completed in the eastern province of Jiangsu, and will shorten queuing time needed for EV charging.

The zone covers nearly 500 square km in the cities of Suzhou, Wuxi and Changzhou. With about 1,300 charging piles, it is expected to serve over 500,000 new energy vehicle (NEV) drivers, according to State Grid Jiangsu Electric Power Co Ltd.

Battery swap facilities, which allow vehicles to change batteries in just 80 seconds, will also be introduced, starting with Wuxi, before being promoted across the entire zone.

Previously, EV drivers often had to search for nearby charging stations. The new zone uses intelligent algorithms to help drivers find the fastest and most economical charging solutions, including suitable times and locations of charging facilities.

The demonstration zone is expected to reduce the average monthly queuing time required for charging by nearly 50 percent, said Yuan Xiaodong, a technical director with the electric power research institute of State Grid Jiangsu Electric Power.

The demonstration zone model is expected to be expanded to the adjacent Anhui province and Shanghai Municipality to promote the upgrading of the NEV industry in the Yangtze River Delta region, said Yuan.

China's NEV ownership level has continued to climb in recent years, with NEVs in use rising to 20.41 million by the end of 2023. To meet this growing use of electric cars, China continues to improve and expand the country's network of NEV charging facilities, which grew 65 percent year on year in 2023, reaching almost 8.6 million by the end of last year, according to China's National Energy Administration.


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