Taiwan’s State Oil Company Makes a Shift towards Green Energy and Will Build a Thousand Battery Charging and Swap Stations for Electric Motorcycles in the Next Three Years
Taiwan’s state-owned petroleum company CPC Corp. will a set aside TWD 2 billion in its next-year budget to build a thousand battery charging and swap stations for electric motorcycles. This decision was formally announced by the company’s chairman Dr. Chein Tai on December 5. Dr. Tai said that the CPC must evolve to contribute to island’s green energy targets.
Dr. Tai’s appointment as the chairman of CPC has been met with some skepticism as his background in agriculture and livestock research is not an exact fit for the position. However, Tai has been praised for his record as the director of the Southern Taiwan Science Park Administration from 2003 to 2006. With just one month into his tenure, Tai has made it clear that CPC – the core of Taiwan’s oil and gas industry – will transform itself in support of policies that reduce the use of fossil fuels and expand the use of electric motorcycles.
Gogoro Inc., a major developer of smart electric scooters and the battery swap network in Taiwan, has installed 475 battery swap stations around the island so far. Of this total, 109 stations were built in collaboration with CPC.
According to reporting from Taiwan’s United Daily News, Dr. Tai emphasized that a state-own company must be in lockstep with the policy direction of the government. He further remarked that CPC has to pursue the latest economic trends and engage in green energy ventures. Thus, regular filling stations including the ones owned by CPC will eventually turn “green” as to serve the growing number of electric motorcycles in the future.
Currently, CPC plans to revamp their existing filling stations around the island over the next three years so that these venues will also accommodate 1,000 new battery charging and swap stations. The Industrial Development Bureau of Taiwan’s Ministry of Economic Affairs has already called for a significant expansion of the green energy infrastructure. CPC’s initiative therefore will help lead the overall effort.
Additional details of this plan were announced by Ann Bih, vice president of CPC. Bih said that CPC aims to build 160 battery charging and swap stations in 2018, followed by 390 in 2019 and another 450 in 2020. The ratio of charging stations to swap stations will be around 1:9. Bih also said that CPC will immediately start to assess possible places for demonstration projects next year. Metropolitan areas with high air pollution levels will be given the priority in the selection process. Outlying islands such as the Pescadores will also be the preferred sites for setting up the battery charging and swap stations. Executive Yuan of Taiwan’s government in particular wants to promote smart and eco-friendly tourism on the outlying islands.
Dr. Tai added that CPC is not going to reduce its capacity to serve the traditional fuel vehicles. The state-own filling stations are modified so that they will meet the needs of both fuel and electric vehicles for a significant period. CPC will not be building dedicated battery charging or swap stations until Taiwan’s population has fully transitioned to using electric motorcycles.
Dr. Tai also noted that CPC will not solely rely on the electricity provided by the state-owned Taiwan Power Co. in the transformation of its business. Each modernized filling station will also have an energy storage system that receives power generated by green energy equipment within the local communities. This way, local residents will be managing the battery and charging stations at their filling stations, which in turn become power plants and energy storage facilities for their communities.