China to expand charging infrastructure along expressway

China will continue to expand charging facilities along the country's expressways for new energy vehicles (NEVs), an official said on Monday.

As the country with the most electric vehicle (EV) charging stations – more than 6.6 million units as end of June – China still needs to strengthen charging infrastructure along expressways to "meet the demand for charging, serve for the public's easy transportation, and promote high-quality development of the EV industry," said Guo Sheng, deputy director of highway bureau of the Ministry of Transport.

China has been increasing charging facilities along highways since 2014, said Guo as he briefed the media after the country delivered its 20,000,000th NEV.

As of the end of June, China put 18,590 charging stations in use at 5,931 out of the 6,628 highway service areas, enough to power 29,000 passenger cars. An additional of 27,000 parking spots are qualified and reserved for charging station installation.

"That means we have covered 90 percent of highway service areas with charging stations," Guo said.

Growth in the EV industry in China

China has the world's most comprehensive EV charging infrastructure system with more than 6.6 million charging points as of June, an increase of 69.8 percent over last year.

In the first half of 2023, China put 1.44 million new charging stations in use.

"We have solved the problem of having charging facilities," said Liu Kai, director of China Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Promotion Alliance. 

"In the future, we want to target the quality of charging stations so that people are more willing to adopt NEVs and drive out of towns and go to the countryside without being worried."

China has also introduced a series of guiding policies for boosting the NEV industry. 

The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) and other related departments released measures on July 21 in a bid to stabilize and expand the consumption of automobiles, with a focus of promoting the sustainable development of the NEV industry.

According to the measures, more pilot projects will be implemented in the utility vehicles sector, and more charging infrastructure will be built at bus stations.

In addition, more effort will be invested in lowering the cost of buying and using NEVs, such as adjusting NEV-related electricity prices, NDRC said.

More credit support, like insurance for charging piles, will be provided, while parking issues will be solved through increasing parking lots and regulating fees.

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