State Grid to build electric car charging stations

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State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC), the largest electric power transmission and distribution company in the world, has instructed its subsidiaries to speed up construction of electric car charging stations in Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjin and other large cities in the country, said today.

After the power charging stations for electric cars are built in several big cities as a pilot project, these stations will serve the electric buses and electric sedans in a trial run. The nationwide coverage of the charging station network will be launched as soon as possible if the pilot project operates well enough and gets approved by the nation's top economic regulator, said a sales executive with the State Grid. The cost of building an electric car charging station is estimated at 250,000 yuan ($36,600) to 300,000 yuan.

China's sci-tech minister Wan Gang, an expert on electric cars, recently said that, with four or five years of efforts, there will be at least one million new-energy vehicles, mostly electric ones, to be produced in China by 2012, accounting for 10% of the country's total auto output that year. This will bring huge market potentials to China's electric car makers such as BYD Auto as well as to the country's giant power distributor State Grid Corp.

To satisfy the increasing needs of electric cars, State Grid will speed up its pace of building charging stations and standardize power chargers. The company set up a charging station network around venues of the 2008 Beijing Olympics and will build more in Shanghai for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo to serve electric vehicles and future networks.

About 600 new-energy vehicles, including 55 electric-lithium-cell buses and 410 electric cars, were used in the Beijing Olympics last month. As the world's second largest car market, China strongly urges its automakers to manufacture energy-efficiency, low-emission and eco-friendly vehicles.

By George Gao

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