China Southern Power Grid (CSG) and Better Place announced opening their Switchable Electric Car Experience Center in Guangzhou’s Pearl River New Town. A switchable battery electric car today drove out from the experience center, marking Guangzhou as the starting point for EV network infrastructure in the five Southern provinces served by CSG.
As a member of the State-Owned Enterprise EV Industry Alliance, CSG is aiming to implement China’s national energy conservation and low emission strategy, and implement EV infrastructure construction in accordance with local needs. Not unlike fuel stations for gas-powered cars, widespread EV adoption requires an extensive network of infrastructure.
In March, CSG and Better Place signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement in Guangzhou to develop EV infrastructure in China. As a global EV network provider, Better Place has extensive experience in providing EV solutions for commercial operations at scale.
After extensive research, development and planning, CSG announced in July that it would follow a centralized, open, and government-led but enterprise-guided approach in providing energy for EVs. The company’s strategy has battery switch at its core combined with centralized EV charging. CSG will promote the development of national technical standards and build a smart EV network.
CSG has signed EV infrastructure agreements with Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, and other provinces. The company has also signed similar cooperative agreements with Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanning, Haikou, and other cities. CSG has 14 EV charging stations in its network, with 2,901 charging poles in operation, and 206,000 kWh of usage over 45,000 charge cycles from January to November 2011.
During the “12th Five Year” plan period and under the government’s leadership, CSG will localize smart EV network infrastructure for the Chinese market and meet the needs of the five southern provinces to support development of the EV industry.
The Switchable Electric Car Experience Center in Guangzhou is the first fully automated battery switch facility in the five provinces of southern China. The Switchable Electric Car Experience Center covers 1,900 square meters, and is an important component of Guangzhou’s efforts to promote new energy vehicles.
This semi-translucent light green structure sits near the Guangzhou Auto Mall, the biggest auto mall in southern China, and includes a Better Place battery switch demonstration, electric cars, auditorium, and reception center. Visitors can see the switch process and experience electric cars right next to Guangzhou Auto Mall. Outside the facility are three Better Place charge spots, showing the charging capabilities of EVs. The customer service center makes reservations, and knowledgeable guides will accompany visitors throughout the facility, and explain more about EVs.
The entire switch process takes less than five minutes. The process is completely automated, as the system safely and efficiently switches out depleted batteries for fully charged ones.
This Switchable Electric Car Experience Center not only furthers knowledge about the industry, but it also promotes widespread EV adoption and raises public awareness and acceptance of EVs. This is an important step in promoting the smooth development of new energy vehicles in the five provinces of southern China.