(Yicai Global) Oct. 29 -- China will start a pilot program to allow electric vehicle owners in 11 cities, including Beijing and Chongqing, to change their batteries for new ones at charging stations.
The initial goal is to build more than 1,000 swap stations to serve owners of more than 100,000 electric vehicles, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology wrote in a statement on its WeChat account yesterday.
In addition to reducing car buyers' costs, the plan is expected to drive a higher standardization of charging station infrastructure and vehicle specifications.
The group of cities includes Changchun, Jinan, Hefei, Nanjing, Wuhan, and Sanya, each of which will accommodate stations for passenger and commercial vehicles. Three cities in western and northern China, including Yibin, Tangsha, and Baotou, will have facilities for heavy-duty trucks.
The chosen cities will promote technological breakthroughs in vehicles, batteries, and charging equipment, as well as develop technical standards for local industrial systems, according to the MIIT. The municipalities need to set up a platform to operate the business along with supporting services.
China encourages the cities to take the lead in piloting battery swap technology in the public sector, and supports private companies to participate in the commercial operation of such assets, per the MIIT. The government also encourages the establishment of related asset management companies to improve battery efficiency through its life cycle.
Editor: Emmi Laine, Xiao Yi