In 2011, electric buses will formally appear on bus lines and on top-class tourist routes. The establishment of Beijing Zinc-Air Battery Research Center on March 8 will pave the way for the commercial deployment of zinc-air battery-powered vehicles. "As a new type of energy, zinc-air batteries have many advantages: they only cost half as much as lithium ion batteries but have twice the energy storage capacity," said Zhou Yuemin, general manager of AVIC Changli United Energy Corporation. "The use of a brand-new catalyst has greatly reduced air electrode production cost."
The zinc air battery was invented 100 years ago. China is rich in zinc; the cost of zinc exploitation and utilization is low. China’s zinc resource is characterized by high specific energy, high capacity, high energy and high safety and reliability. "We can achieve zero emissions by using zinc-air batteries as a new energy source, thus laying a solid foundation for the massive deployment of clean energy," said Zhang Xiaoge, a PHD from Canada.
According to the goals set by Beijing Municipal Government, the number of new energy-powered vehicles in Beijing will reach 5,000 by 2012. It is said that AVIC Changli United Energy Corporation, a joint venture between AVIC International (Hong Kong) and Beijing Changli, will invest 500 million yuan towards the industrialization of zinc-air batteries in the upcoming 3 years. AVIC Changli United Energy Corporation plans to produce zinc-air batteries for 100 electric buses and 300 electric garbage trucks by 2011, and for 1,000 electric buses and 1,000 electric garbage trucks by 2013.