Autovolt Magazine

World’s Largest EV Fast Charger Network to be Created in China

ABB, a leading power and automation technology group, has announced a strategic collaboration with Shenzhen BYD Daimler New Technology Co., Ltd. (BDNT) to supply direct current (DC) fast chargers over the next six years for DENZA. The joint venture aims to make China the global leader for electric vehicle (EV) fast charging with the world’s largest network.

The wall-mounted chargers will have a number of innovations designed for user convenience and safety, such as a mobile app that allows remote monitoring and control of charging sessions, with the option of charging status change notifications. First deliveries are expected to start toward the middle of 2014. The charging solution will be sold through DENZA dealerships along with the electric vehicles.

EVs are one of China’s seven emerging strategic industries. ABB and DENZA will work together to help support China’s efforts to increase sustainable mobility. What is little known here in the West, is that China have many different electric cars than those which are on offer here in the UK, Europe and America. Manufacturers such as Roewe (the renamed company that once was Rover) produced their first electric car as far back as 2010 but it was never for export.

The Chinese government has introduced a DC fast charging “GBT” standard to encourage technical innovation and stimulate market acceptance of EVs. The urban charging infrastructure will be a key driver for EV adoption. The GBT standard will give Chinese consumers the opportunity to conveniently charge their vehicles at home or at public charging stations. Public DC fast charging is expected to be rolled out in China in the near future.

Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of ABB Group, said:

“We are honoured to be a partner in this venture to move urban transportation forward in a more sustainable way. By combining car sales with fast chargers, DENZA is taking a bold step to address a key obstacle for potential buyers of EVs. ABB’s EV charging solutions have been expanding rapidly worldwide as the underlying technology combines our key strengths in power electronics, software, service and power distribution.”

The fully electric DENZA car is designed for journeys of more than 200 kilometres and is among the first long-range EVs to go on sale in China. Market research shows that consumers value long-range EVs, but expect short charging times. DENZA will offer its customers the convenience of fast charging at home, at work or at public charging stations.

Arno Roehringer, COO of BDNT, said:

“The DENZA represents a significant step in sustainable transportation for the Chinese automotive market. It was vital that we had the right partner to support this innovative concept. ABB is the ideal technology partner for us, and – equally important – it has the service expertise to install this solution.”

China’s EV market is expected to quickly gain momentum in the coming years due to technology and market innovations, the GBT national fast-charging standard and favourable incentives. ABB has worked on pilot projects with local OEMs and utilities in China since 2010. In 2013, it began to build up a local EV organization to support this growth including R&D, manufacturing, logistics, and service.

DENZA electric carSource & photo; ABB & Denza