Tesla partners with Hanergy on first Chinese charging stations

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U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla has tapped Hanergy Solar Group to provide the first solar carports in a planned network of PV Supercharger stations in China.

Hanergy has so far completed solar carports in Beijing and in Shanghai’s Jiading district. The Beijing carport, a mobile carport designed to be assembled and transported, uses Hanergy’s GSE flexible thin-film solar modules. The Shanghai carport will be a fixed structure and adopt Hanergy’s MiaSole CIGS high-efficiency modules. Hanergy is designing and manufacturing the systems and has already completed the first phase of both carports.

Hanergy unveiled the Tesla charging system at a ceremony on Tuesday commemorating the first delivery of car orders to Chinese customers in Beijing.

"In the future, Tesla will work with partners to build Supercharger networks," Teslo founder and CEO Elon Musk said at the ceremony. "The first charging station in Beijing was built in cooperation with Hanergy Solar Group. Tesla will continue to invest in the construction of superchargers in China, aiming to quickly expand the network."

In an interview with Chinese television network CCTV, Musk said China was a key market for the company and Tesla would make big investments in the country, including investments in charging systems. Tesla is looking to build seven Supercharger networks and an uninterrupted 24-hour-a-day solar power supply. The the first batch of charging stations are slated for Beijing and Shanghai.

Hanergy’s PV charging system protects vehicles like ordinary carports while converting sunlight into electricity utilizing its designated rooftop. At the same time, the system charges the electric vehicle through its energy storage system. The system uses Hanergy’s CIGS thin-film PV technology.

"With conversion rates peaking at 20.5%, this technology offers light weight, flexibility, excellent low-light performance and advanced packaging," Hanergy said, adding that no fixed column is required, significantly reducing the cost.

Zhang Qingliang, vice president of Hanergy Global Solar Power and Application Group, said: "We are pleased to be the one to provide Tesla the first batch of solar powered Supercharging stations in China. As a technology-driven company, Hanergy has been actively exploring ways to utilize its thin-film photovoltaic technology to provide solutions through technological innovation and cross industrial integration."

Qingliang added that Hanergy has been working with multiple domestic and foreign automobile manufacturers to integrate solar and was also researching energy storage, photovoltaic car roofs and other solar-automobile applications.