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City to Fuel NEV Ecology with Swappable Battery Stations

By RAN ZHENGICHONGQING|May 14,2022

Chongqing- Southwest China’s Chongqing Municipality plans to fuel the development of its new energy vehicle (NEV)  industry and build more than 200 battery swapping stations by 2023.

The Yuehu Road Battery Charging and Swapping Station in Chongqing Liangjiang New Area.

The Yuehu Road Battery Charging and Swapping Station in Chongqing Liangjiang New Area. (iChongqing file photo)

Government plan to facilitate battery-swapping station

Chongqing’s pressing priority is to fuel the development of the NEV industry and improve the service network by combining battery charging and swapping. By 2023, more than 200 battery swapping stations will be built, and over 10,000 NEVs with swappable batteries will be put into service in the city to facilitate their development, according to the relevant work plan released by Chongqing Economic and Information Technology Commission on May 11.

The plan proposed that Chongqing pilot the construction of battery swapping stations in Liangjiang New Area, Jiangbei District, Nan’an District, Western (Chongqing) Science City, and then extend the coverage across the city. In light of local market demand, districts and counties should speed up the construction of battery swapping stations by making full use of existing charging stations, parking lots, and refueling stations.

Chongqing will push hard for the integrated battery-swapping network in the Chengdu-Chongqing region, open up Chengdu-Chongqing Electricity Corridor, and support battery-swapping station operators. Through collaboration with refueling stations, the city aims to establish comprehensive energy stations, ensure that battery swapping facilities in expressway service areas and other vital areas are connected to the power grid, and grant corresponding construction subsidies. In addition, it will also roll out policies for auto enterprises’ research and development of battery swapping technology, formulating relevant standards and regulations.

Chongqing will encourage NEVs with swappable batteries to be prioritized in the taxis and online taxi-hailing services and gradually be used for heavy trucks, logistics vehicles, official vehicles, and private cars, and provide corresponding operation subsidies.

The plan also proposed encouraging banking institutions to offer financing services to battery-swapping station operators, insurance companies to develop exclusive products for NEVs with swappable batteries, and vehicle recycling enterprises to establish the standards for scrapping and recycling.

Impressive performance made by Chongqing NEV makers

According to data from China Passenger Car Association for April, the wholesale and retail volume of domestic new energy passenger vehicles reached 280,000 units, up 50.1% year on year, showing a significant growth trend in the market. Due to the rapid growth, Chongqing-based automobile enterprises such as Chang’an Automobile, Sokon Group, and Lifan Technology outperformed their rivals in the new energy market.

In April, Chang’an Automobile wholesaled and retailed 10,623 units of independently developed new energy models, increasing 129.9% year on year. From January to April this year, the sales volume amounted to 52,967 units, up 196.6% from last year, exceeding the national average growth rate. Since this year, Chang’an Automobile has made great efforts to build an entirely new energy product mix, covering low-end, mid-range, and high-end ones.

In April, Sokon Group sold 8,552 NEVs, with a year-on-year increase of 187.56%. The sales volume of its subsidiary Jinkang Series expanded 1,248.63% year on year to 3,439 units. The data showed that the subsidiary was the main contributor to the group’s sales growth of NEVs.

Besides, Lifan Technology delivered impressive performance in the segment. A total of 1,472 NEVs were sold in April, and the accumulated sales volume surged at a rate of 6,443.93% to 7,002 units in January-April. The company creates a battery swapping travel ecosystem integrating vehicles, electricity, stations, and the cloud, thus establishing and improving its automobile brands’ structure and battery swapping ones.

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