China Southern Power Grid (CSG) and Better Place opened their Switchable Electric Car Experience Center in Guangzhou’s Pearl River New Town. A switchable battery electric car today drove out from the experience center, marking Guangzhou as the starting point for EV network infrastructure in the five Southern provinces served by CSG.
Earlier this year, CSG and Better Place signed a strategic cooperation framework agreement in Guangzhou to develop EV infrastructure in China. (Earlier post.)
As a member of the State-Owned Enterprise EV Industry Alliance, CSG is aiming to implement China’s national energy conservation and low emission strategy, and implement EV infrastructure construction in accordance with local needs. CSG announced in July that it would follow a centralized, open, and government-led but enterprise-guided approach in providing energy for EVs. The company’s strategy has battery switch at its core combined with centralized EV charging. CSG will promote the development of national technical standards and build a smart EV network.
CSG has signed EV infrastructure agreements with Guangdong, Guangxi, Guizhou, and other provinces. The company has also signed similar cooperative agreements with Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Nanning, Haikou, and other cities. CSG has 14 EV charging stations in its network, with 2,901 charging poles in operation, and 206,000 kWh of usage over 45,000 charge cycles from January to November 2011.
The Switchable Electric Car Experience Center in Guangzhou is the first fully automated battery switch facility in the five provinces of southern China. Outside the facility are three Better Place charge spots, showing the charging capabilities of EVs. The customer service center makes reservations, and knowledgeable guides will accompany visitors throughout the facility, and explain more about EVs.
The entire switch process takes less than five minutes. The process is completely automated, as the system safely and efficiently switches out depleted batteries for fully charged ones.