Beijing unveils gigantic, ultra-fast EV charging station for buses

electric bus

The world’s largest electric vehicle charging station, with charging points capable of fully replenishing the battery of an electric bus in ten minutes, has been unveiled in Beijing. Located at the city’s Xiaoying Public Transit Bus Terminal, the facility was built by China State Grid and covers an area of 26,500m2, accommodating up to 30 buses simultaneously.

The Xiaoying charging station is part of a whole network spread across several of Beijing’s bus terminals which serve the city’s recently acquired Foton electric buses. Beijing has started replacing natural gas hybrid bus fleets with fully electric ones to help mitigate air pollution in the city.

Powered by Microvast battery technology, the buses only require charging two to three times a day, with several route loops between each charge. The fleet operators said the technology contributed to improving the operating efficiency of the fleet, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Previously, Beijing experimented with robotic battery swapping to reduce the down-time of its slow-charging electric buses. However, the technology required extra investment and storage space due to the need for spare batteries.

The fast-charging buses currently operate on Beijing’s number 13 bus route, but the city already has plans to convert further lines to electricity between 2016 and 2020 as part of its plans to develop a clean public transport system.

Although not the main culprit, transport contributes to Beijing’s extreme air pollution problem. Yesterday, the city issued its first ever red alert due to a heavy smog spell, forecast to last for more than three consecutive days.

As part of the mitigation measures, local authorities issued restrictions for drivers preventing them from using their cars every day (only every other day), as determined by the final digit of their license plates.

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