42,000 charging posts in Beijing would make it as convenient to charge an electric car as to refuel a gas-driven vehicle. (File Photo/CFP)
To promote the use of electric vehicles, Beijing plans to set up 42,000 charging stakes within five years to equal the penetration rate of gas stations in the city, according to the official news agency Xinhua.
A representative from the Beijing office of the State Grid Corporation of China predicted that the number of electric cars in Beijing will reach 100,000 by 2015, mainly passenger vehicles. The main obstacle at present is the low availability of charging facilities.
"Many consumers buy a car not only to commute but also to meet other needs, which are hard for the electric car to satisfy at this time. Authorities have to improve services to promote it," the representative said. With current technology, most electric cars can run for only 120-160 kilometers without recharging. Besides improving the capacity of batteries, building more charging stations on the roads is seen as the best way to tackle the problem.
The representative said that Beijing plans to establish 256 charging stations, 210 distribution stations, and 42,000 charging stakes by 2015.
According to statistics from the Beijing Municipal Commission of Development & Reform, 19 charging stations for electric cars have been built so far, with 39 scheduled for completion by the end of this year. If Beijing were to have one million electric cars, this could save an estimated 10 million tons of gasoline every year.