China should build more electric vehicle battery-switching stations, said Li Shufu, founder of China's Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
Li's call came at the "two sessions", the annual gathering of the National People's Congress, China's national legislature, and the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, its top political advisory body.
A deputy to the 13th NPC, Li called for accelerated development of the EV switching system, as well as the standardization and popularization of EV battery switching.
In recent years, China has witnessed the booming development of the new energy vehicle industry. Statistics from the Ministry of Public Security showed that by the end of 2021, the number of new energy vehicles nationwide reached 7.84 million, up 59.25 percent year-on-year. Among them, 6.4 million units are full electric vehicles, accounting for 81.63 percent of the total number of new energy vehicles.
Instead of the traditional way of charging the drained batteries of EVs, a battery-switch station enables drivers to quickly swap depleted batteries for charged ones, with the whole process taking no more than five minutes. More importantly, the separation of batteries from EVs will cut the purchasing prices of the vehicles by almost 50 percent, according to Li.
In 2021, the number of charging piles in China was 2.617 million units, up 55.7 percent year-on-year. On the other hand, the number of battery-switching stations nationwide stood at only 1,192, significantly lower than the former.
Li said infrastructure development of EV battery-switch stations can catch up through legislation and policy initiatives that clarify and support their setup. For example, this includes streamlining the review process for lands slated for battery-switching stations and issuing national standards so that batteries and battery-pack configurations from different companies can be compatible with one another.
In his proposal, Li argued that China should spend more efforts on and give more policy preference to the production of methanol-powered vehicles, which are cleaner than gasoline models.