Fast charging key to NEV future

Fast charging key to NEV future

Xiaomi chief highlights upgrades in infrastructure for sector's development

Charging infrastructure is an important guarantee for the high-quality growth of the new energy vehicle industry, and more efforts are needed to promote the development of high-power fast charging for NEVs, said Lei Jun, founder and CEO of Chinese tech company Xiaomi Corp.

Lei, who is also a deputy to the 13th National People's Congress, said to enhance the international competitiveness of China's NEV industry, it is important to promote the development of high-power fast charging stations.

Fast charging now accounts for only 40 percent of public charging piles for NEVs in China, and in fact, the existing fast charging piles' power is generally low. This results in problems such as slow charging speeds, long queue times and low turnover efficiency. It is difficult to adapt to the current rapid development of the NEV industry in China, Lei said.

He said more efforts are needed to formulate a development plan for a high-power fast-charging network in China to clarify key targets including site planning, scale and charging capacity.

It is necessary to establish a national innovation cooperation platform and strengthen joint research on core charging technologies. Measures are likewise needed to improve relevant services, and to promote the popularization of high-power charging infrastructure, Lei added.

The suggestions came as Xiaomi is eyeing big opportunities in the automobile sector. The Beijing-based company, better known as a smartphone vendor, has registered its electric vehicle or EV business with a registered capital of 10 billion yuan ($1.58 billion).

That came after Xiaomi acquired autonomous driving firm Deep motion for around $77.37 million to enhance the technological competitiveness of its EV business.

Sales of NEVs in China surged in February, driving the country's automotive market to accelerate its green transition, the China Passenger Car Association said on Tuesday. Last month, a total of 272,000 NEVs were sold in China, soaring 180.5 percent year-on-year, the association said.

Dong Yang, co-chairman of the China Automotive Chip Industry Innovation Strategic Alliance, said high-power fast charging will develop slowly if it only relies on market mechanisms. Proper guidance from the government, such as drafting a development plan, will accelerate its growth.

Dong said the national standard for high-power fast charging has already been included in the national standard formulation plan, which is also conducive to the sustainable development of high-power fast charging in China.

Nan Cunhui, chairman and founder of electronics company China Group, said insufficient charging infrastructure is still a key factor restricting the development of the NEV industry.

The existing charging piles have problems such as inadequate maintenance and management, unreasonable layout and safety hazards. This makes it difficult and expensive to charge NEVs, said Nan, who is also a member of the 13th National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

More efforts are needed to develop an intelligent charging infrastructure for NEVs, Nan said.

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