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Business Models and Public Policies for Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in China

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Feasible business models of charging stations include battery leasing, direct charging and slow charging.



Business Models and Public Policies for EV Charging Stations in China

SinoSight Thinktank of ChangCe Thinktank


Abstract of Research Report

Electric vehicle (EV), a prominent representative domain in the exploitation of new energy resources, sets an important direction for automotive industry development in the new era with the phasing out of conventional vehicles. Today, global automotive industry has actively devoted big efforts to electric vehicle R&D and promotion. Governments and enterprises in many countries have also assigned substantial resources, such as experts and funds to this domain. In China, in the guidance of “the three vertical and three horizontal strategy in electric vehicle R&D”, electric vehicle witnesses considerable growth.

Storage battery and charging technology are bottlenecks in electric vehicle development, and business development and operation modes of which determine, in some sense, promotion and commercialization of electric vehicles. Thus, ChangCe ThinkTank or Sinosight ThinkTank, under the topic of charging stations, analyzes and discusses possible business models of charging stations in the future and problems emerging in charging station development in China. The research first identifies a selection of feasible technologies for charging stations in scenarios of both current and future conditions. ChangCe believes that development of charging stations is encountered by technical difficulties related to storage battery, power grid construction and policy planning, and among which difficulties regarding storage battery are the greatest. ChangCe estimates that, in the future, major difficulty is the charging time of storage battery. To address the above technical difficulties, a viable technical option is defined as a combination of slow charging and frequent change.

In order to assess actual impacts of electric vehicle charging stations on consumers and operating agencies in terms of benefits, this report discusses respectively the market value of charging station development and charging pile development. Based on this discussion, the report analyzes appropriate business models of charging station. In terms of consumers, price charged on charging is obviously lower than the price changed on fueling or gassing. As for the operating agencies, charging stations can realize profits in certain years whatever charging methods are adopted. Feasible business models of charging stations include battery leasing, direct charging and slow charging.

Currently, business models of charging stations abroad are represented by general service and professional service. General service mainly includes connection of charging stations and information systems, construction of charging station networks and etc. Professional service covers direct charging and frequent change. Successful cases of charging station operation are Beijing Olympic charging station and Shanghai World Expo charging station. Through the analysis into these two cases, the research generalizes experience that can be drawn on for future development.

Based on the analysis into a selection of charging station technologies, investment yields and business models, Changce comes up with following recommendations for government to support development and operation of charging stations.

1) Tighten supervision in license issuance to charging stations. Define explicitly the prospects qualified for licenses, entrance mechanisms, norms and standards.

2) Enact appropriate subsidy policy for charging stations. Perform different methods in subsidizing direct charging and battery leasing to ensure normal operation of charging stations.

3) Define the development models of charging stations. In face with the phenomenon that some automotive enterprises are merely concerned about continuously receiving huge national subsidies while delay electric vehicle promotion, the government should adopt policies to guide and encourage automotive manufacturers into transforming to battery operator, complying the market trend, alleviating the plight and promote electric vehicle development.

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