An electric taxi charging station in China’s hi-tech city of Shenzhen has reportedly become the largest EV charging station in the world, as a second phase of construction adding 172 fast chargers to total 637 fast chargers was completed this week.
Added by Chinese power company Southern Power Grid (SPG), the Shenzhen charging station is operated by SPG in collaboration with state-owned Potevio and China’s largest maker of electric cars, the Warren Buffet-backed BYD.
According to Chinese industries and commodities tweep Moneyball, the station has the ability to service almost 5,000 “new energy vehicles”, as they are known in China, per day, using a total of 160MWh of energy on average.
Shenzhen's Minle #EV #charging station becomes the world's largest as Southern Power Grid adds another 172 fast chargers.#BYD, SPG & #Potevio operate 637 fast charger station that can service close to 5 K vehicles per day.
On average, It charges 160 MWh per day. pic.twitter.com/5rYke5FBgK
— Moneyball (@DKurac) May 22, 2019
The station is used to charge Shenzhen’s purely electric-powered taxi fleet, which consists mostly of BYD e6 wagons and, it is reported by South China Morning Post to total around 22,000 vehicles.
Shenzhen, which is known as a centre for high tech industry and is home to 12.5 million people – about half that of all of Australia – is the second, and the biggest, city in China to transition its taxi fleet to all-electric vehicles (in 2016, Taiyuan in China’s north became the first city in China to transition to a 100% electric taxi fleet.)
Shenzhen has also been credited by South China Morning Post for taking the lead on an all-electric public transport network.
According to Moneyball, who fielded questions about the station on the social media channel yesterday (Australian time), the station has been running for nearly two years.
It is used as a taxi charging station for companies using BYD's EVs (mostly BYD e6).
This was the completion of the second project phase, which started in January.
The station has been running for two years now. pic.twitter.com/UrEcXeT1Vy
— Moneyball (@DKurac) May 23, 2019
While some pundits have expressed concern at the incredible amount of energy being used at the station, it’s important to note that in terms of carbon emissions, electric vehicles are still more efficient than combustion vehicles when powered off the grid, and have the added benefit of improving the air quality in the area in which they are driven.
The claim that the Shenzhen charging station is the world’s largest blows a previous claim made by Germany’s Sortimo that late last year embarked on a project to install 144 charging stations halfway between Stuttgart and Munich.
According to Sortimo, the Zusmarshausen station – which will include 24 fast chargers – when completed will be able to service up to 4,000 electric vehicles a day.
Bridie Schmidt is lead reporter for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She specialises in writing about new technology and has been writing about electric vehicles for two years. She has a keen interest in the role that zero emissions transport has to play in sustainability and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum.