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Economic regulator to push new energy vehicles in rural areas
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China aims to enhance the layout and construction of public charging infrastructure in rural areas to promote green transportation among local residents, the top economic regulator said on Wednesday.

The National Energy Administration and the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) jointly released a document on Wednesday, urging local governments to increase the distribution and construction of public charging infrastructure for new energy vehicles (NEVs) in rural areas.

The document also emphasized the need to promote smart charging models and intelligent technologies such as vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology. V2G technology enables vehicle batteries to supply power back to the grid during high-demand periods, further advancing the development of the NEV charging infrastructure industry.

Additionally, the NDRC stated its intention to encourage NEV enterprises to optimize their offerings and develop more economically practical vehicle models, including new energy cargo micro-vans, micro-trucks, and light trucks. The commission also highlighted the provision of high-quality used NEVs to the rural market.

China has already established the world's largest charging infrastructure system in terms of quantity and coverage area, providing significant support for the rapid growth of NEVs in recent years, according to the commission.

However, challenges still persist in rural areas, such as insufficient construction of public charging infrastructure, difficulties in installing and sharing charging facilities in residential communities, and supply-demand imbalances during certain periods. These issues have limited the potential for NEV consumption in rural areas, the commission noted.

Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Passenger Car Association, highlighted the vast growth potential for NEVs in rural China, expressing expectations that the initiative would boost consumption in these areas. Cui also pointed out that the potential for promoting NEVs in rural areas might be even greater than in large cities due to China's aging society, which presents significant opportunities for the development of NEVs targeted at middle-aged and elderly individuals.

Lin Boqiang, head of the China Institute for Studies in Energy Policy at Xiamen University, acknowledged China's extensive network of charging facilities, with 6.09 million charging facilities nationwide as of April, but pointed out that the inconvenience of charging remains the primary concern for NEV buyers. He explained that the rural population and vehicles are more widely dispersed, and installing charging stations in some residential areas poses challenges to establishing sufficient charging infrastructure in rural regions.


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