379,000 alternative energy vehicles were produced in 2015 in China, up 400% year on year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the People's Republic of China (MIIT). In the meanwhile, 35,700 alternative energy vehicles were sold in Jan.-Feb. 2016, up 170% compared to last year, and it is expected that 600,000-700,000 alternative energy vehicles would be sold in 2016, according to China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).
However, as for the construction of charging infrastructures, only 31,000 charging piles and 780 charging stations were built in China till the end of 2014. That is to say, four alternative energy vehicles have to share one charging pile, which lags behind the requirement of one charging pile for one alternative energy vehicle by the Chinese government.
During 2015, there was no policy or standard about charging infrastructures published by the Chinese government and there was no subsidy for constructing charging infrastructures, when the market of alternative energy vehicles developed rapidly. The sales volume of alternative energy vehicles in Q4 2015 was as half as the sales volume in the whole year of 2015.
“With the enlarging gap, the government had already noticed that the constructions of charging infrastructures should speed up to catch up with the development of alternative energy vehicles,” said Stanley Wang, Chief Editor of China Li-ion Battery News.
Finally, at the very end of 2015, the government took actions.
The policies of the “top-down design” for charging infrastructures were published eventually. With the principle of planning ahead, the guiding policies of “develop the plies and stations first” has led the market to grow rapidly.
In Nov. 2015, two guiding documents for charging infrastructures were released by Nation Energy Administration --- Construction Plan of Charging Infrastructures for Alternative Energy Vehicles and Guiding Opinions of Charging Infrastructures. Later in 28 Dec. 2015, the national standard for constructing charging infrastructures was finally launched. All of these policies aimed to increase the numbers of charging piles and stations to narrow the gap.
As of 2020, over 12,000 centralized charging stations and 4.8 million charging piles are planned to be built to meet the need of 5 million alternative energy vehicles, according to the policies.
“The last two months of 2015 was policy-beneficial for the charging piles. I believe that it will be a great time for the development of charging infrastructures in 2016,” said Stanley.
The Chinese government would keep investing on and offer award subsidies to the construction and operation of charging infrastructures, and would also require all the local governments to publish documents on the planning and subsidy plans for the charging infrastructure constructions.
It is not difficult to get the subsidies. In fact, the sales volumes of alternative energy vehicles from most of the key areas were already qualified to get the highest subsidies in 2015.
For the key areas for air pollution treatment, in 2016, they are required to promote 30,000 alternative energy vehicles with total incentive of USD14.07 million and the upper limit of USD18.75 million. In 2020, they are required to promote 70,000 alternative energy vehicles with total incentive of USD 19.70 million and the upper limit of USD 31.26 million, according to the Notice about Incentive Policy for Alternative Energy Vehicle Charging Infrastructure and Promotion of Alternative Energy Vehicle during the 13th Five-year Plan (2016-2020).
“The policies from the Chinese government have showed its determination on developing the charging infrastructure constructions. In the view of required sales volume and all the incentive policies [of alternative energy vehicles], it comes the investment blooming for the charging piles in the second quarter of 2015,” commented Stanley.
“From the perspective of installed capacity, the total capacity of new power Li-ion battery would be over 300GWh. That’s to say, the total capacity of alternative energy vehicles would also be over 300GWh,”
“Thanks to 4.8 million charging piles and 12,000 charging stations to be built in 2016-2020 (13th Five-year plan), the beginning of 2016 is doomed to be the peak of charging infrastructure constructions, with the growth of 100%-200% and the market size around USD22.9 billion,” Stanley added.
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