ABB Formula E in Sanya: partnering with China to write the future of mobility

Round six in Season 5 of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship, the world's first fully electric street racing series, was staged on March 23 in Sanya, a noted tourist destination and coastal city on the southern tip of Hainan Island. It marks a return for the championship to mainland China for the first time since 2015 and also the first race in mainland China since the 2018 launch of ABB’s milestone title partnership.

Hainan Province, which has become a newly established free trade zone, is the first province in China to roll out a specific timetable to phase out the sale of fossil-fueled vehicles and create a province-wide network of charging stations by the end of 2030. The region’s ongoing efforts in electric mobility and its fascinating coastal landscape have made Sanya an idyllic setting for a Formula E race.

Developing new-energy vehicles is one of the seven strategic emerging industries designated by Chinese government since 2012. Thanks to the ambitious plans and relentless efforts, China has made tremendous achievements in pushing forward the development of e-mobility and playing an increasingly important role in the continuous development and uptake of electric mobility globally.

As the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) market and producer, China has seen an electric car boom in recent years and left other markets behind by selling more plug-ins in 2018 than all other countries combined, according to the figures from, a world EV sales database. The EV uptake in China is expected to continue in coming decades, fueled by strong support from both the central and provincial governments.

“China is the second largest market of ABB, and we will continue to grow in China.” said Dr. Chunyuan Gu, President of Region Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA), ABB Group. “As a pioneering technology leader, ABB is well positioned to provide state-of-the-art offerings for China market to build the charging infrastructure for the increasingly large number of electric vehicles. With industry-leading ABB Ability™ digital solutions, we are dedicated to supporting China in increasing the portion of clean energy in its energy mix and making EVs a truly sustainable means of transportation, further deepening the century-old partnership between ABB and China.”

ABB entered the EV-charging market back in 2010 and now offers the full range of charging solutions for electric cars, electric and hybrid buses as well as electrification solutions for ships and railways. Today, ABB has unrivalled expertise in electrification and electric-vehicle charging solutions, with more than 10,500 fast-charging points, including high power chargers up to 350 kW, in 73 countries worldwide.

In China, ABB has been striving to become partner of choice in EV charging infrastructure and has been selected by many Chinese customers like EV maker NIO and XPENG Motors, luxury electric vehicle Denza, and Southern Heshun Electric Vehicle Service Company, to supply DC chargers. In January 2019, ABB supported BP China and 66 iFuel by providing Terra 63Z DC fast chargers for a DC fast charging pilot station in Shanghai. Beyond that, China also houses the ABB Shenzhen New Energy Technology Center, which focuses on research and development for solar and EV charging solutions in China and around the world.

One day prior to 2019 Sanya E-Prix, ABB hosted an ABB Pioneer Talk on the Future of E-Mobility and Energy, attended by ABB CEO Ulrich Spiesshofer, and ZZ Zhang, Managing Director of ABB (China) Ltd. who delivered a welcome speech at the beginning of the forum. The panel discussion, featured speakers Dr. Chunyuan Gu, President of Region Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA), ABB Group, Co-founder and Executive Vice President of NIO Mr. Jack Cheng, and Mr. Junfeng Li, Chairman of academic committee of National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation (NCSC), provided a platform for in-depth discussion on topics ranging from e-mobility to energy management, smart grid and future life. The speakers have offered some enlightenment on how can we run the world without consuming the earth, gave the people a glimpse into the infinite future of mobility, and won warm applause from the attendees.

The Sanya E-Prix also featured a whole string of side events including customer meetings, workshops and interactive activities, to elaborate ABB’s latest technologies and innovations in electrification products, industrial automation, robotics and motion, and power grids. “It is great to see many of our customers across China gathering together. I am very impressed by their passion for new technologies and digital solutions as well as their trust for ABB.” said Dr. Gu.

ABB (ABBN: SIX Swiss Ex) is a pioneering technology leader in power grids, electrification products, industrial automation and robotics and motion, serving customers in utilities, industry and transport & infrastructure globally. Continuing a history of innovation spanning more than 130 years, ABB today is writing the future of industrial digitalization with two clear value propositions: bringing electricity from any power plant to any plug and automating industries from natural resources to finished products. As title partner in ABB Formula E, the fully electric international FIA motorsport class, ABB is pushing the boundaries of e-mobility to contribute to a sustainable future. ABB operates in more than 100 countries with about 147,000 employees.


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