Recently, Wancheng Wanchong, as a dually certified national high-tech enterprise working on charging solutions, was invited to the 6th State Grid EV Expo and 2022 China Electric Eco Expo. At the Expo, Wancheng Wanchong displayed its independently developed charging facilities in an all-round way, and introduced its competitive integrated SaaS charging platform. Wancheng Wanchong customized comprehensive solutions to the pain points of the industry, or specifically, challenges for users to charge and charging pile operators to make a profit.
Limited supply of charging facilities?
Building charging infrastructure to power cross-city journeys is the solution
According to relevant departments, as of June this year, the number of new energy vehicles in China has reached 10.01 million. As indicated by relevant national plans and forecasts, by 2025, China will hold over 25 million new energy vehicles. The soaring new energy vehicle ownership also drives up the demand for charging piles.
Against this background, social capital has flooded into the charging pile industry. For instance, Tencent, Xiaomi and other electronics manufacturers, and automobile companies such as Weilai Auto have invested in the charging pile industry.
Despite capital inflow and policy support, the charging pile industry still fails to resolve the mileage anxiety of new energy vehicle owners. Electric vehicle owners having difficulty in charging and charging pile operators struggling to make a profit remain to be resolved.
Over the past year, topics on long queues at charging stations grabbed headlines during peak national holiday periods. In response, various national policies have been formulated to boost the development of the charging pile industry.
At present, new energy vehicles have to recharge to move between cities. However, it is difficult to construct charging piles along highways due to technical reasons, high land costs, and insufficient power load. Building charging infrastructure along highways is an uphill battle.
Mr. Liang Xiangfei, deputy general manager of Guangzhou Wancheng Wanchong New Energy Technology Co., Ltd., proposed two solutions to this problem. First, designate charging station sites, and boost the power load of charging stations by building supporting infrastructure such as photovoltaic systems and energy storage systems.
Second, in response to the high construction and operation costs of charging stations, it is advisable to increase the rate of return on investment of investors by raising charging pricing, and make exhaustive on-the-spot investigation to identify highways presenting the strongest charging demand, so as to avoid “Zombie charging piles”.
What can charging pile operators do to make a profit?
Multiple parties have to be involved to make it easy for new energy vehicle owners to charge their cars. Underutilization and low profit margin make the charging industry a losing business, and operators are struggling to survive.
In terms of investment cost, the state has introduced a variety of subsidies to encourage the development of charging piles, an emerging industry. In 2022, an installed power-based subsidy policy was formulated for private charging piles (groups). To be specific, investors will be given 100 yuan per kilowatt for AC charger and 200 yuan per kilowatt for DC charger, or up to 200,000 yuan for a single charging pile (group). Such policies have greatly reduced the cost of building charging piles. Charging pile operators may find it easier to make a profit after settling location, technology and safety-related issues.
In terms of income, the difference in electricity charges is the main source of income for charging pile operators. Users pay a certain amount of money for a full charge, which is higher than the electricity fee. In some cities, the total charges also include additional fees such as service fees. Only when the surging charging demand of new energy vehicles reduces the number of idle charging piles, can charging pile operators make a profit.
However, with underutilization of charging piles, charging pile operators also make money by selling advertising space. In addition to displaying charging-related data such as charging amount, cost, and time during a charge, charging pile display may also be used as advertising space. Operators charge for advertising and get extra income.
Wancheng Wanchong pursues a whole industry chain approach
China holds the largest number of new energy vehicles, and charging piles are much in demand. However, the choice of charging pile operators is worth careful consideration. Liang Xiangfei claims that the competitiveness of charging pile operators lies in developing cost-effective and high-quality charging piles.
At present, three types of enterprises are investing in the construction and operation of charging piles, namely, facility operators, automobile companies and third-party platforms. The third-party platforms, without independently developed technologies or facilities, have to purchase such from facility operators and technology suppliers. As a comprehensive supplier of new energy products and operation services, Wancheng Wanchong focuses on three core activities, which are built on charging facilities, namely, R&D, production and sales of charging facilities, construction and operation of charging networks, and development and operation of SaaS platform. Wancheng Wanchong has demonstrated its competitiveness by providing comprehensive charging station services to meet different needs.
Wancheng Wanchong is competitive in three ways. First, supply of fcilities and R&D. As a national high-tech enterprise, Wancheng Wanchong has been working on charging for many years. It insists on independent R&D and innovation. Currently, it has two R&D centers in Shenzhen and Guangzhou, with more than 100 R&D talents and technical professionals. Besides, Wancheng Wanchong upgrades its product portfolio to meet the changing market needs. It is an outstanding manufacturer of charging facilities, with its own smart factory, where top-level fully automated instruments and equipment are introduced to guarantee product quality and production capacity. Every month, more than 20,000 AC charging piles and over 800 DC charging piles will be produced to meet the needs of various market players.
Second, station site selection and investment plan design, that is, charging station site selection and evaluation. By virtue of the big data-powered site selection model, Wancheng Wanchong selects charging station site and designs supporting facilities in a scientific manner. Moreover, with abundant experience in construction, it can customize charging station construction plans for customers.
Third, charging station operation. Wancheng Wanchong makes the most of AIoT, Internet of Vehicles, and Internet to develop the SaaS platform integrating “people, vehicles, piles, and stations”. SaaS currently holds over 1000 companies, and interconnects with mainstream Chinese operators. SaaS members may connect their charging piles and stations to the platform, manage, operate, monitor and settle transactions on the platform. Wancheng Wanchong has been interconnected with mainstream platforms in China including AutoNavi Maps, Fleetin and Xindiantu, thus increasing traffic for operators.
Wancheng Wanchong, as a national operator of high-power fast charging piles, ranks first in South China in terms of the number of charging piles, and owns more than 35,000 charging parking spaces. It also leads the industry in operation efficiency (the average daily single-gun charging power of 200 kWh) and failure rate (5‰).
The charging pile market is becoming thanks to policy support. Various enterprises are entering the market, and vying for a share. Whether Wancheng Wancheng, enjoying in technology, talent and experience, can stand out from the crowd and realize its objective “where there are electric vehicles, there are Wancheng charging piles”, remains to be seen.