Three days before the National Day holiday this year, the total charging capacity of the State Grid's charging and swapping service network increased by 59% year-on-year, and the charging capacity of expressway charging facilities increased by 56.52% year-on-year, a record high.

Although the development speed and market share of new energy vehicles are rapidly increasing, the problems of "charging difficulties" and "mileage anxiety" that plague new energy vehicles still seem to have not been completely resolved.

Photo courtesy of Visual China

  "Several men fought to grab the charging pile, and one of them held the charging gun tightly." "During the high-speed traffic jam, the driver was afraid to turn on the air conditioner because he was worried that the battery of the new energy vehicle would not be able to hold it, and sat on the side of the road to enjoy the cool." … The "11" holiday was originally a good opportunity for the whole family to travel and relax, but during this year's "11" holiday, some discordant scenes appeared on some expressways.

  "It takes one hour to charge in the service area, and it takes four or five hours to line up in front of the charging pile. For most pure electric vehicles, several hundred kilometers are often charged several times in the middle. Such a bumpy journey can be called'car on the road.' "Recalling the experience of searching for a charging station during the "Eleventh" holiday, Zhu Zheng still has lingering fears.

  Zhu Zheng originally planned to drive his family from Beijing to Hebei and Shanxi by car for 6 days.

But on the way to Taiyuan, Zhu Zheng found that there were long lines of charging piles in the major service areas along the way.

  "There are even seven or eight cars in front of some charging piles. If I follow the line, the whole day will be consumed on the road." Zhu Zheng said helplessly, in order to charge the electric cars that are about to run out of power. Zheng had to change his plan and drove off the highway ahead of schedule. The original 6-day self-driving tour was shortened to 4 days.

  In fact, there are many new energy car owners who have experienced anxiety and suffering like Zhu Zheng.

Although the development speed and market share of new energy vehicles are rapidly increasing, the problems of "charging difficulties" and "mileage anxiety" that plague new energy vehicles still seem to have not been completely resolved, even once there is a travel peak such as "October" , "Difficult to charge", on the contrary, there is a growing trend.

New energy vehicles get together to travel, hitting the "difficult to charge" soft underbelly

  Statistics from the Ministry of Transport show that as of the end of September this year, the number of charging piles in China's high-speed service areas was 10,800. Although they can meet people's daily needs, they are "one pile" in the face of the surge in travel during long holidays. Hard to find".

  Data from State Grid also confirms this point.

From October 1 to 3 this year, the total charging capacity of the State Grid's charging and swapping service network increased by 59% year-on-year, and the charging capacity of highway charging facilities increased by 56.52% year-on-year.

On October 1, the charging capacity of highway charging facilities was nearly 4 times the normal daily charging capacity, a record high.

  "These data prove that electric vehicles get together for long distances and linear travel has caused the'more cars and fewer piles' dilemma." said Xue Xu, an associate professor at the School of Economics of Peking University. Waiting for peak holiday travel time, charging difficulties are more likely to occur."

  It is understood that the total number of new energy vehicles in the country has reached 6.78 million. Since the beginning of this year, 1.87 million new energy vehicles have been registered. Compared with the current huge number of new energy vehicles, the gap in the number of charging piles is still obvious.

  In addition to the imbalance in quantity, the uneven distribution of charging pile resources aggravates the contradiction between local and specific charging periods.

"From the perspective of the layout, according to the data released by the State Information Office, the current number of highway charging piles nationwide is 10,836, which accounts for only 0.5% of the total number of charging piles in the country. From a regional perspective, there are currently many charging piles. Concentrated in first-tier cities." Cui Dongshu, secretary general of the National Passenger Car Association, believes that due to insufficient location selection, the utilization rate of some of the built charging stations is low.

  According to data from the Urban Transport Infrastructure Monitoring and Governance Laboratory of the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, among the 25 large cities across the country, the average time utilization rate of a single public charging pile in 22 cities is less than 10%.

  In addition, according to the reporter's understanding, non-uniform charging power and poor compatibility of charging piles are also important factors that make it difficult to charge pure electric vehicles.

  "Because the performance of the batteries used by car manufacturers are not the same, there is a significant gap in the charging power of different brands of pure electric vehicles, and some highway charging piles are poorly compatible, individual pure electric vehicles may need to be tried many times to find A charging pile that suits you." Cui Dongshu said.

  At the same time, due to the backward battery technology of some old pure electric vehicles, the charging power setting is relatively conservative, and they are also prone to mismatch with the charging pile, which affects the overall charging efficiency.

  "There is no doubt that the cruising range is still the most concerned issue of current pure electric vehicle owners. With the gradual increase in the number of new energy vehicles, especially the pure electric vehicle market, this kind of'difficult charging' problem may continue to ferment for a while. Time." Xue Xu predicted.

The improvement of the electric vehicle energy supplement system requires multi-party joint efforts

  The "New Energy Automobile Industry Development Plan (2021-2035)" proposes that by 2025, the sales of new energy vehicles and new vehicles will reach about 20% of the total sales of new vehicles. By 2035, pure electric vehicles will become the mainstream of new sales vehicles. .

  “In the face of the future wave of electric vehicles, if you don’t plan ahead and make arrangements in advance in terms of charging hardware environment and software service capabilities, there may be more and more'mileage anxiety' in the use of electric vehicles.” Cui Dongshu said bluntly. To solve the charging problem fundamentally, we must work together on the policy side, the technology side, and the market side.

  Recently, the State Grid has stated that it will speed up the construction of expressway charging stations. It is estimated that by 2025, the coverage of expressway charging stations in the eastern region will reach 80%, and the central and western regions will reach 60%. At the same time, it will also upgrade the charging piles built earlier.

  Cui Dongshu believes that from a policy perspective, the national "14th Five-Year Plan" and the long-term goal for 2035 have clearly stated that it is necessary to actively expand new parking lots and charging piles.

At the local policy level, there are already more than 20 provinces and cities in the "14th Five-Year Plan" outline that proposes multiple layouts for the charging pile industry.

On the product side, industry analysts pointed out that increasing the proportion of DC charging products can greatly improve charging efficiency.

  It is understood that major new energy charging companies are actively using capital to accelerate the research and development of new technologies and the launch of new products.

From May to June this year, four charging pile operators, Xingxing Charging, Yiwei Energy, Terad and Cloud Fast Charging Pile, as well as two charging pile technology companies from Shengke Energy and CLP Zhigu received financing.

Among them, Yiwei Energy alone received a huge financing of 350 million yuan.

  In fact, in addition to the number of charging piles, the charging efficiency of electric vehicles is also very important.

Therefore, while accelerating the layout of DC charging piles, more and more companies are seeking to solve the problem of charging difficulties by improving charging efficiency.

  It is worth noting that when public charging piles are difficult to meet the increasing charging needs of new energy vehicle owners, the faster and more efficient power exchange mode has once again triggered heated discussions from all walks of life.

  In the field of power exchange, NIO can be regarded as one of the representative companies in the domestic new energy field.

The data released by it shows that Weilai Automobile currently has 519 swap stations in China, including 109 high-speed swap stations.

  According to official Weilai data, from October 1st to 7th, Weilai National Expressway Swap Stations provided up to 118 power replacement and supplementary services in a single day. The average time from the order to the completion of the power replacement was 14.1 minutes, which is a long time for power replacement. Much faster than charging time.

  "Although battery swapping is a kind of thinking, but the battery specifications between the brands are not uniform, the problems such as the inability to communicate are real." Xue Xu reminded, "It is difficult to increase the penetration rate of power stations, and the cost must be considered. Factors such as, standardization, security, etc., this is not something that can be accomplished overnight."

  He suggested that to solve the problem of charging difficulties, it is necessary to start from the overall perspective, do the "addition" of construction, encourage more capital to enter the charging market, and increase the construction of charging facilities.

  "In addition, all parties concerned also need to do management "subtraction" to solve the problems of rebuilding, light management and independent governance, promote the upgrading of existing facilities, and give full play to their role, so as to match the new needs of the market." Xue Xu concluded.

  China Youth Daily and China Youth Daily reporter Zhang Zhenqi Source: China Youth Daily

Keywords: energy vehicles, capacity, charging capacity, state grid, service network, charging, vehicles, xue xu, development speed, problem, mileage anxiety, record high, driver, swapping, holiday