China's State Grid has built the largest electric vehicle charging network in the world, reports Chinanews.com.
The online system, which has been in use for one-and-a-half years, now connects more than 167,000 charging poles, which have been used nearly 17 million times.
More than 45,000 of the charging poles are owned by State Grid. The rest are operated by 17 different electric vehicle charging operators.
The system works by helping electric vehicle drivers locate charging facilities nearby, as well as pay their charging fees.
Over the past eleven years, the State Grid has built 5,526 charging stations and 40,000 charging poles, covering 121 cities in 16 provinces. The average distance between two neighbouring charging stations is within 50 kilometers.
The company plans to build 120,000 charging poles by 2020, covering 202 cities across the country. This should mean a charging facility will be found within a radius of less than 1 kilometer.
Private investors have also been invited to build charging stations for electric vehicles since 2014.
The new energy vehicle industry is developing rapidly in China.
It's estimated that the electric vehicle charging station and infrastructure market will become a 200 billion yuan industry in 2020.