If Norway is the country of the electric car by market share, China has become the place where to look when we talk about what is to come with this technology. The Asian giant has managed to rise above all rivals when it comes to total business, production and export volume.
Therefore, it is interesting what is happening there to understand what our new mobility may be like in the future. Beyond curiosities such as the NIO battery exchange, the shared-use bicycle cemetery or the failure of the elevated bus scam, there are many plans with sufficient basis to understand how the appearance of our roads will change.
A giant charging station that shows us the future
Located in Shenzhen, about 2.5 kilometers from the airport and managed by Shell and BYD. It is the charging station that has just been inaugurated in China and that during the testing phase came to supply 3,300 vehicles in a single day. To do this, a total of 258 fast charging plugs are available, although Shell does not confirm their power in the information it has published.
That is, each charger would have supplied between 12 and 13 cars in a single day, so recharges cannot have exceeded two hours. To make the wait more enjoyable, the oil company has provided the facilities with a store, a cafeteria and a lounge for drivers to rest while the vehicle is charging.
Beyond the numbers, the opening of the charging station gives us a general image of how can they change service stations in Europe. Firstly, because the European Union is determined to fill the roads with fast charging points every few kilometers, so oil companies have an incentive to offer these plugs in their own facilities. In fact, Shell points out that pumps for combustion vehicles continue to be offered in the same space.
The provision of services in fast charging spaces is another of the common demands of drivers, since many of them are located in isolated spaces where it is impossible to have a coffee or eat something while the car charges. In Germany, some companies such as Audi or Porsche have taken care to set up their own charging stations with this type of service, offering a more or higher quality image.
Shell facilities are supported by roofs with solar panels that, according to the oil company, can deliver up to 300,000 kWh of electrical energy per year. Aid in the form of renewable energy that will be used to partially recharge the vehicles themselves and which, as we have already seen in other stations, is beginning to be common.
Furthermore, the fact that each outlet is serving about 12 vehicles a day gives an idea of how we will move in the future. If there were no downtime between recharging, the cars would have been plugged in for a total of two hours. This, in fast charging posts (and even more so when we reach powers of 150 kW or higher) does not make sense, since it has been shown that it is faster to stop a greater number of times for short intervals of time than to take a longer pause with the objective to fill the battery completely.
More often than not, automobiles have their own browsers that calculate the available battery while driving, acclimatize the battery to the ideal temperature for recharging and absorb the most energy in the shortest time possible. This occurs because rarely on a trip planned in this way does the available autonomy rise above 80%.
It is between 10% and 80% when batteries best receive electricity at high power. Above or below these percentages, the accumulators suffer more degradation and need to recharge at a lower speed. Therefore, it is expected that those same 3,300 vehicles recharged in one day will increase considerably with the same number of plugs.