charging stations

Promoting Electric Vehicles in Beijing

Beijing is putting out policies to get more EVs on the road.

As one of the first cities in China to promote electric vehicle use, Beijing has been at the forefront of efforts to increase the number of EVs on the road. EV use in Beijing is now moving from a pilot phase towards broader commercial development. During our annual conference last month – Energy Storage China 2015 – Director Chen Chu of the Beijing Electric Vehicle Development Center described the state of affairs for electric vehicles in the capital. Here are some of his observations and our own analysis.

Beijing EV Policies

Broadly speaking, the Beijing municipal government is focusing its attention on all-electric vehicles and the creation of an effective industrial chain. Director Chen emphasized the importance placed on promoting R&D and manufacturing, demonstration projects, and building up EV infrastructure to create a supporting framework for the industry.

In terms of policy, the municipal government has passed nearly a dozen regulations, procedures, and notices related to EVs and infrastructure since 2014. Most notable were policies related to EV purchasing and measures to establish an EV policy framework. In 2015, we’ve seen new policies come out governing new applications for EV technology and extending EV infrastructure.

Date Policy
February 2014 Beijing Municipal Procedures for Management of Electric Passenger Car Demonstration Projects
February 2014 Beijing Municipal Regulations on EV Manufacturers and Product Auditing for  Electric Passenger Car Demonstration Projects
March 2014 Beijing Municipal Regulations on Financial Subsidies for Electric Passenger Car Demonstration Projects
June 2014 Beijing Municipal Regulations on Construction of Private Charging Infrastructure for Electric Passenger Car Demonstration Projects
June 2014 Notice on Promoting the Installation of Private EV Charging Infrastructure in Existing Residential Complexes
July 2014 Notice on Promoting the Installation of Private EV Charging Infrastructure in Property Management Areas
July 2014 Beijing Municipal EV Promotion Action Plan (2014-2017)
March 2015 Notice on Financial Policies for the Purchasing of Electric Vehicles
March 2015 Notice on Incentives for Early Retirement or Upgrading of Taxis
April 2015 Notice on Questions Regarding Beijing EV Charging Station Service Fees
May 2015 Notice on Exemption of Electric Passenger Cars from Working Day Rush Hour Road Space Limitations

Three policy documents published in 2015 are particularly interesting:

  • The “Opinions on the Beijing Municipal Public Facilities Deployment Index,” a document that, among other things, specifies the allocation of parking spaces in publically-owned buildings, also included a clause reserving 18% of parking spaces in residential complexes for electric vehicles.
  • The “Notice on Exemption of Electric Passenger Cars from Working Day Rush Hour Road Space Limitations,” published in May, exempted small passenger EVs from rules that restrict the number of passenger cars on Beijing’s streets during the week.
  • The “Notice on Questions Regarding Beijing EV Charging Station Service Fees,” passed in April, allows operators of public EV charging stations to charge users a service fee. This fee is based on the price of gasoline, and is designed to incentivize the build-out of future charging stations. Specifically, the document specifies that the service fee cannot exceed 15% of the price of one liter of 92-octane gasoline per kilowatt-hour charged.

Collectively, these policies clarify the rules on EV infrastructure, traffic management methods, and EV charging services.  They reaffirm the city’s commitment to supporting EV development and the promotion of EVs in the consumer market.

EV Support Platforms

The city has also designed a number of software platforms to promote the expansion of the city’s EV fleet.

One such platform monitors and collects information on the battery power, vehicle status, and the geographic location of public-use electric vehicles.

Another, the Beijing EV Charging Facility Smart Management Platform, provides internet access to electric vehicles, thus giving drivers access to the current status and location of charging facilities. The platform also helps drivers navigate to charging stations and reserve a charging space in advance.

The National EV Testing Service Platform, one other such service, tests the performance of an EV and its components, including a vehicle’s drive and control systems, battery, and charging capacity.

EV Development Strategy

The city is currently working to build a hierarchical public transportation system. This includes promoting EVs for use as taxis, in delivery services, and in hourly car rentals. In terms of infrastructure, the city government has described its strategy as emphasizing slow charging for private vehicles and fast charging for public transportation.

The city is also actively exploring home charging, distributed charging stations, and park and ride charging stations at rail stations.

The Beijing city government’s active stance on EV policy suggests that the industry is picking up speed. It also show that EVs are a part of the city’s strategy to fight air pollution.

CNESA will continue to follow these developments.