On November 3, 2017, BAIC BJEV established the “Weilan Environmental Alliance” and put into place their “Optimus Prime Plan.” The plan seeks to make use of battery swapping and second-life battery technologies, integrating new energy vehicles, EV batteries, battery swapping stations, and PV technology, creating an intensive, intelligent, and convenient environmentally friendly system. The “Optimus Prime Plan” has three stages of implementation:
· Stage 1 (2016-2017): BAIC BJEV and Aulton will work together with taxi companies to install battery swapping stations, creating an operations platform for transportation and second-life battery operations and repair. The measures will create a city-level energy Internet centered on swapping stations utilizing solar energy storage. 100 swapping stations will be installed and over 4000 vehicles will be put in operation, creating a total stored energy battery system of 100 MWh (100,000 kWh).
· Stage 2 (2018-2020): Beijing, Xiamen, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Lanzhou, Xi’an, Kunming, Zhengzhou, and other cities will receive operations platforms for transportation and second-life battery operations and repair. These efforts focus on creating a regional-level energy internet centered on swapping stations utilizing solar energy storage. 1000 swapping stations will be installed and 100,000 vehicles will be put in operation for a total 1GWh (1,000,000 kWh) stored energy battery system.
· Stage 3 (2021-2022): the plan will be extended across the entire country, covering all major cities, urban, and rural regions. These efforts will focus on creating a country-wide energy internet centered on swapping stations utilizing solar energy storage. 3000 solar-powered swapping stations will be installed and 500,000 vehicles will be put into operation for a total of 5 GWh of storage in operation.
A total of 10 billion RMB is to be invested in the “Optimus Prime Plan.” The plan will help to ease pressure on the power grid, conserving 1 GWh of grid electricity for the country in five years. The plan will also encourage second-life usages for EV batteries, giving new use to 50,000 tons of batteries over five years. Finally, the plan is environmentally beneficial: with 500,000 taxis converted to electric vehicles, 8,500,000 tons of carbon emissions can be reduced in a year.