GUANGZHOU, April 17 (Xinhua) -- South China's Guangdong Province saw a boom in electric vehicle charging services in the first quarter, according to local electricity authorities.
The Guangdong branch of China Southern Power Grid Co. Ltd. said Wednesday that from January to March its charging facilities provided more than 1 million charges for electric vehicles, increasing 456 percent year on year.
Electric vehicles charged 400.3 million kWh of power in the first three months through the company's charging facilities, year-on-year growth of over 840 percent.
Xu Yanhao, an official of the company, attributed growth in power consumption and charging services to the increase of electric vehicles including buses, taxis, and cars which offer online ride-hailing services, as well as improvements of charging devices in the province.
The number of users of provincial charging services has increased rapidly, with around 108,000 registered users in total. Newly registered users in the first quarter increased 790 percent compared with the same period last year.
The surge in power consumption from electric vehicles not only reflects the vigorous growth of electric vehicles in Guangdong but shows the province's pursuit of green development, Xu added.
Guangdong reported GDP growth of 6.8 percent last year to 9.73 trillion yuan (about 1.44 trillion U.S. dollars), about 10 percent of the national total.
The province has introduced a variety of policies for green growth and high-quality development, and the electric vehicle industry has seen a significant improvement over the past few years.
The provincial government stipulated that from 2016, of the renewed or newly-added buses in the Pearl River Delta region, the proportion of pure electric buses should not be less than 90 percent. The proportion of pure electric taxis should increase gradually, and at least 95 percent of newly-added vehicles should be pure electric ones for government agencies and public institutions.
Guangdong plans to invest 54 billion yuan to build charging facilities from 2016 to 2020, with nearly 1,4000 charging stations and around 3400,000 charging points built.
Around 5,000 charging points will be put into operation this year in Guangdong, said Xu, adding that charging facilities will be installed along the province's main expressways by 2020.
As of March, Guangdong had about 90,000 charging points.
"It is estimated that the annual power consumption by electric vehicles will exceed 220 billion kWh since 2020, which is expected to reduce more than 1.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions," said Qu Dapeng, an official of Guangzhou Power Supply Bureau.
Meanwhile, the manufacturing hub has been promoting clean energy.
The electric consumption of Guangdong was more than 6400 billion kWh last year, with nearly half from clean energy.
The provincial ecology and environment department said people in Guangdong would embrace a better environment since the province has paid more attention to green development.
Last year, the province reported the annual average for the major air pollution index PM 2.5 dropped 6.1 percent from a year earlier, while the figure in industrial districts, concentrated in the Pearl River Delta region, dropped 5.9 percent.