The Swiss power and automation technology group ABB has teamed up with Shenzhen Daimler New Technology Co to expand China’s electric vehicle charging network to be the largest in the world. Over the next six years, the company hopes to supply enough wall-mounted chargers to make the new DENZA electric car a practical, sustainable alternative to traditional vehicles in the world’s most populous country.
The chargers are expected to roll out in urban areas first, allowing for easy and rapid adoption of the new vehicles. Owners would be able to quickly charge their DENZAs at home or at readily-available public charging stations. With a lengthy battery life of about 200 miles, the network should allow consumers to travel freely within populated areas of the country. This is just the latest attempt to stir up local interest in electric vehicles since 2009, after attempts to entice buyers with government rebates failed to sell as many cars as initially planned.
The news makes sense, coming from one of the most heavily-polluted areas in the world. Air quality in parts of the country is so bad that it can be seen from outer space. The nation is doing everything it can to curb industries that release noxious chemicals into the air, from shutting down coal-fired power plants to banning outdoor barbecues and New Year’s fireworks in Beijing. Hopefully as more people transition to emission-free vehicles, the air quality will start to improve.