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China to Standardize EV Technology Nationally, Plans Global Expansion

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【Summary】The popularity of electric vehicles is at an all-time high in China. Last year, the total sales of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles accounted for four times as much as that of those in the United States. It is expected that the margin will only grow wider this year.

Manish Kharinta    Apr 16, 2018 1:52 PM PT
China to Standardize EV Technology Nationally, Plans Global Expansion
author: Manish Kharinta   

The popularity of electric vehicles is at an all-time high in China. Last year, the total sales of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles accounted for four times as much as that of those in the United States. It is expected that the margin will only grow wider this year. 

This shift in trend can be attributed to the fact that over the course of the next two decades, China is planning on moving away from gas-powered vehicles completely. As China is the world's largest car market, the shift to absolute battery-powered all-electric mobility is expected to have a substantial effect on the auto industry, at a global scale.

China is the world's largest industrial country and this move has been engineered to promote the growth and therefore, investment opportunities into its automotive and battery manufacturing industries. In context of public interest, major cities will benefit from this change as it aims to reduce hazardous air pollution, heavily. China believes that with this initiative it will also gain a competitive edge over its international rivals.

Like the United States, even China is experiencing similar difficulties which hamper the sale of its plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles. Car buyers are having to navigate around regulations and varying standards which change on a city to city and region to region basis. This is because of the political ties that the local politicians have with carmakers. 

The regulations are designed to promote car sales of the companies which have political ties within that region. Even the infrastructure has been designed to do the same, so an electric car bought in one city will not be authorized to use a charging station in a different city. 

The Chinese government has stated that it is working on addressing this issue and will draw up new regulations to ease the ownership experience of an electric car buyer. The regulations will also address the issues of charging station access and recycling of electric cars.

Backing this venture, several government bodies and independent analysts have presented studies which pointed out that the lack of standardization as the sole cause holding back the sales and manufacturing of these ‘New Energy' vehicles. 100 technological standards have been drafted for impending implementation in China. 

The industry ministry of China announced that this year they will promote the development of technologies which will improve the efficiency of electric cars and design better batteries. For the owners, the standards will also lay out plans for software protocols, connectors, power delivery and other factors which are part of the charging process.

Once these regulations come into effect, they are likely to change the face of the global automotive industry in the future. As of now, China has a range of connectors which remain exclusive to the country. The J-1772, 240-volt charging connector which is standard across most of the European and American markets are not used in China. 

The number of cars China aims to build in the coming years equipped with standardized connectors will open the international auto market to a wide range of options and will likely leverage their offerings to collaborate their battery charging technologies with that used around the world.

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