China's State Grid, Huawei join hands for next-generation smart EV charging solutions
Updated 15:37, 18-Sep-2021
By Cao Qingqing

China's State Grid, the largest utility company in the world, has teamed up with tech giant Huawei to develop the next-generation smart electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to meet the fast-growing demand in the country.

State Grid EV Service and Huawei Digital Power launched their strategic cooperation plan on Wednesday during the 2021 World New Energy Vehicle Congress in Haikou City, south China's Hainan Province.

In the next three years, the two sides will complement each other's technical advantages and carry out deep collaboration in three major fields: high-power direct-current fast charging technology, user-friendly smart charging service, and internet of vehicles and big data.

The development of fast charging technology is to address one of the biggest concerns of EV car owners – that most public charging stations now refuel cars too slowly, Li Houzhi, chief operating officer of the smart charging business of State Grid EV Service, told CGTN. 

Using technologies such as big data and artificial intelligence, the goal is to achieve intelligent operation and maintenance of charging facilities to improve the operating efficiency of charging station operators and promote industry upgrading, he said.

Over the years, State Grid has built the world's largest smart internet of vehicles architecture in China, connecting more than 1.4 million charging piles nationwide and serving about 9.3 million new energy car owners, he said.

Due to the accelerated penetration of EV, charging infrastructure will see major changes in the next five years, said Kuang Ping, general manager of the smart charging business of Huawei Digital Energy.

Since China set the goal to peak carbon emission by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, EV sales have boomed in the country. In the first eight months of 2021, new energy cars sales reached 1.8 million, almost double the same period last year.

So far, the number of new energy vehicles in China has exceeded 6 million, accounting for more than half of the world's total. 

Kuang said China's current charging infrastructure has three problems: fast charging facilities cannot refuel cars fast enough, slow charging stations are not widespread enough and the deployment of charging piles is poorly planned, with some piles lying idle while many EV owners cannot find them easily.

To target these problems, industry partners need to work together to make the changes to keep up with the increasing demand of EV owners, he said. 

(Video shot and edited by CGTN's Zhang Rongyi)

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