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Green Drive: Beijing to Turn Ordinary Street Lamps into Charging Points
   2014-10-17 21:28:46    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Zhangpeng


Beijing now has over 560 charging-points for electric cars, according to a recent statement by the Beijing municipal Science & Technology Commission (STC).

Drivers are also able to locate the closest charging-point to them, and make appointments via smart phone apps. More than 1,000 new quick charging-points will spring-up across the Chinese capital, especially close to the airports, train stations, public parking lots as well as high-way public service areas by the end of this year, The Beijing News reported.

The number of electric car owners in the city has increased rapidly in a short time. Almost a 1,000 license plates for new energy vehicles were issued so far this year, bringing up the total number of electric vehicles on Beijing roads to 2000.

Converting street lamps into charging-posts?

According to the Beijing News, some districts in Beijing including Changping, Yizhuang as well as Haidian have put forward a pilot program for converting ordinary streetlamps into charging posts for electric vehicles.

Statistics show that there are more than 200,000 high voltage sodium lamps in the city's six major districts, and these account for over 80 percent of the city's streetlamps.

If all of the sodium lamps are substituted by LED and 15% of them are installed the direct current charging posts, Beijing will increase more than 30 thousand charging points.

This will make it more convenient to use electric cars. According to this new plan, the street lamp cum charging post can also be made into a WIFI hot spot, allowing car owners to browse the internet, while charging their vehicles.

Currently, the program is in its preparatory stage and will probably be launched later this year.

Street lamp-charging posts in Berlin

A Germen-based company--Ubitricity-- have already converted 100 street lamps in Berlin into charging points for electric cars.

The lamppost chargers consist of a simple power cable and meter.

The company says the conversion cost is less than 300 euros per lamppost, which is only a fraction of the cost, when compared to the whopping 10,000 euros needed to setup a conventional recharging point.

The company's founder said they are trying to bring in electro-mobility to the streets and wants to show that the infrastructure for it is affordable.

Berlin's state government plans to put up 800 conventional charging stations for electric cars around the city by the end of 2015.

The policy on the electronic cars

China started promoting electric vehicles in 2009. As of 2010, there were nearly 28,000 electric vehicles in 25 Chinese cities, and 80 percent of them were public buses.

China's Minister of Industry and Information Technology, Miao Wei noted that the Central Government will step up investment in vehicles powered by clean energy and extend subsidies for the promotion of electric vehicles.

Subsidies are currently offered to private buyers of electric cars, but analysts say more coordinated policy action will be needed in the long run so as to encourage more private buyers in the future.

Development of charging stations in China

The Chinese government started to subsidize electric vehicles to make them more attractive to private car owners.

However, the number of charging-posts across the country are insufficient to meet the rapidly growing demand from electric car owners.

The government originally estimated that about half a million new electric cars would hit the roads in 2014. But so far only 20,000 new electric vehicles have registered this year. The government has yet to establish a pricing structure for the charging stations

Shi Zhezhong, manager of Shenzhen-based charging posts maker Potvetio said, "The clean-energy industry as a whole still lacks regulations and national standards, which should be enforced by the central government. Common standards enable the auto-making companies, battery-makers, charging stations producers and users to collaborate."

Meanwhile, the time it takes to charge the batteries of electric vehicles remains a major concern.

"We have 17 charging posts at our station here. The power of each post is 100 kilowatts and we have 52 buses at our station," Huang XiaoJun, the head of a charging station in Shenzhen said. "It currently takes 3 hours for each bus to have its battery charged. For taxis, it takes about 100 minutes," he added

Xiangyu, a driver of an electric bus explained how the long time taken to charge his car battery was affecting daily operations.

"In terms of the passengers, they feel more comfortable sitting on an electric bus since they are more stable with less noise and smell, but we, as a bus driver, still need more charging stations. Sometimes the battery is runs out of when the bus is full of passengers. We need to come up with a way to quickly charge our vehicle batteries in an urgent situation like that."

The charging stations in Beijing

The photo, taken on March 19, 2014, shows Lianfang Charging Station situated under Lianfang Bridge in Shijingshan District, Beijing. The Charging Station mainly provides charging services for sanitation work vehicles. However, the station is empty without any vehicles to charge.

The photo, taken on March 19, 2014, shows the EV charging station situated under the Huixinxi Bridge in Chaoyang District, Beijing. This station was built several years ago but the facilities here are not frequently utilized. Very occasionally, a few sanitation work vehicles visit the station for the purpose of recharging.

The photo, taken on March 19, 2014, shows the charging posts at the Qijiahuozi Charging Station, in Chaoyang District, Beijing. The station mainly provides charging services for electric buses. 

The photo, taken on March 19, 2014, shows two sanitation work vehicles being charged via the same charging post at Fengbei Charging Station in Fengtai District, Beijing. The station provides charging services for sanitation work vehicles and the station's charging posts can charge up to 26 such vehicles at the same time.

10 newly-launched electric vehicles in 2014

BMW i3

The BMW i3 is a five-door urban electric car developed by the German manufacturer BMW. The i3 is part of BMW's "Project i" and was launched as a new brand, BMW i. The i3 is BMW's first zero emissions mass-produced vehicle due to its electric power train, and BMW is the first company to launch a volume production vehicle on the market featuring carbon-fiber reinforced plastic to improve the vehicle's energy consumption.

Price: 41250 USD

BMW i8


The BMW i8, first introduced as the BMW Concept Vision Efficient Dynamics, is a plug-in hybrid sports car developed by BMW. The 2015 model year BMW i8 has a 7.1 kWh lithium-ion battery pack that delivers an all-electric range of 37 km under the New European Driving Cycle. The range in EV mode is 24 km with a small amount of gasoline consumption.

Price: 136000 USD

Tesla Model X

The Tesla Model X is a full-size crossover utility vehicle in development by Tesla Motors. The prototype was unveiled at Tesla¡¯s design studios in Los Angeles on February 9, 2012. The Model X is being developed from the full-size sedan platform of the Tesla Model S, and will be produced with it at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California.

Price: 60000 USD

Volkswagen e-Up!

The Volkswagen e-up! is a city car, part of the Volkswagen Group New Small Family  series of models, unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show . Based on their city Up platform, the e-Up! is a fully electric vehicle capable of carrying four adults in a way that is both practical and immensely enjoyable.

Price: 19250 GPB

Volkswagen e-Golf

Despite its all-electric power, the e-Golf retains much of the driving charm of its gas and diesel VW Golf cohorts, thanks to a firm suspension and taut handling. A 115-hp electric motor and lithium-ion battery give the e-Golf a range of 70 to 90 miles while adjustable driving and regenerative braking modes help boost range in the most aggressive settings. An optional 240-volt charger drops charge time to less than four hours.

Price: around 36000 USD

Cadillac ELR

The Cadillac ELR is a luxury plug-in hybrid compact coupe developed and manufactured by General Motors. The ELR power train is a re-tuned version of the propulsion system used in the Chevrolet Volt. The ELR's 16.5 kWh lithium-ion battery pack delivers an all-electric range of 60 km and a top speed of 171.

Price; 75000 USD


Soul EV is an all-electric compact car manufactured by Kia Motors. The vehicle was unveiled at the 2014 Chicago Auto Show. The Kia Soul EV has an all-electric range of between 130 km and 190 km. The US Environmental Protection Agency official range for the 2015 model year Soul EV is 150 km and rated its combined fuel economy at 2.2 L per 100 km.

Price: around 35000 USD

Mercedes-Benz B-Class

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class is a compact luxury car introduced by German automaker Mercedes-Benz. It is essentially an enlarged A-Class keeping some of the engines, but with other more powerful ones available. It has the same basic suspension system. Like the A-Class, and unlike any other vehicle Mercedes builds or has built, the B-Class is a front wheel drive vehicle.

Price: Unknown

Porsche Panamera

The Porsche Panamera (type number 970) is a luxury four-door sedan. It is front-engined with rear-wheel drive, with four-wheel drive versions also available.
The Porsche Panamera production model was unveiled at the 13th Auto Shanghai International Automobile Show in Shanghai, China, on April 2009.

Price: 99000 USD

Nissan NV200

Based on the Nissan NV200, Nissan introduced the Nissan e-NV200 concept all-electric van at the 2012 North American Auto Show in Detroit. The e-NV200 has a 24 kWh battery pack that is expected to have a range similar to Nissan Leaf of 117 km. The vehicle was unveiled in 2012 North American International Auto Show.

Price: Unknown

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