Other countries should take heed and start building the needed charging infrastructure ahead of the increasing demand.
More than 3 million electric and hybrid cars are expected to be sold this year in China, taking up half of the global share, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) predicted in October. However, a lack of charging facilities on motorways holds back some consumers from buying electric cars.
As hundreds of millions of travelers hit the road for the National Day holiday in October, charging facilities on motorways were stretched to the limit. Some drivers said they had to line up for four hours to charge their vehicle.
China already has the world’s largest charging network for electric vehicles, with more than 2 million stations. This includes publicly and privately-run plugs, and battery swapping services.
“On average, there is one charging station for every three electric cars in China. We still have a long way from the ideal ratio of one car, one charge,” said Wen Fushuan, professor at Zhejiang University and a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
“One of the main challenges is building charging circuits in old neighborhoods that cannot take large loads.”