BestEV, China’s first consumer-facing EV performance evaluation and ranking system, was launched by iCET in Dec. 2015. BestEV aims at accelerating a market-driven transition to pure electric vehicles in China. In order to achieve this goal, BestEV supports decision-making processes at three core levels:
(1) Consumers – spur EV purchases by providing an accountable vehicle performance evaluation system, and educate consumers about the unique features of EVs (as oppose to ICE vehicles);
(2) Manufacturers – promotes EV quality improvement and planning by providing aggregated and comparative BestEV ranking system including both quantitative (manufacturer specified) and qualitative (consumer evaluated) components of all EV models offered on the market. Building on the projects’ expert discussions, BestEV aims to also influence a third level of decision-making processes;
(3) Regulators – monitor the real-world market evolvement of EV demand and respond with more balanced and effective regulatory systems.
Up to these days, the governmental policies and subsidies at national and local levels have been the major drivers to NEV sales. Consumers’ NEV purchase decisions are largely driven by city policies to restrict new sales of traditional internal-combustion-engine vehicles. There is still widespread misunderstanding and lack of recognition and acceptance of new energy vehicles, as well as the lack of awareness of environmental benefit associated with NEVs. It’s clear that consumer education and well-intended guidance are urgently needed. In addition, as for the use of new energy vehicles, consumers have many doubts on how to choose and purchase new NEV models, how to install charging posts, and how to safely drive and charge NEVs. These doubts are further complicated by the facts that the sources of information are scattered and largely driven by commercial interests. Moreover, the weak feedback mechanism between consumers and policy makers leads to a lack of effective communication channels. From consumers’ perspectives, problems encountered in the real-world are often difficult to get useful feedbacks and remain unsolved.
Taking advantage of the existing partnership network – including BestEV Alliance members, NEV owner group and communities, BestEV partners and expert resources (expert pool composed of government departments, research institutes, NGOs, companies, and so on.), as well as many of our past consumer researches and in-depth survey studies, BestEV is meant to develop pop-science style reports of “China New Energy Vehicle Consumer Guidebook” and “Guidance on Private Charging Pile Installation and Usage” for mass audience, to provide guidance on the new energy vehicle purchasing choices, and give detailed answers in all aspects of the process of new energy vehicle purchasing, utilizing, charging, servicing and so on. The project will also compile an operation manual for the installation of private charging piles, adapt to the different characteristics of cities and provinces, specifically for Beijing, Hainan, Shenzhen, and Shanghai. Through case analyses, we will sort out local residential communities and office buildings for charging pile instillation policies and procedural specifications, process requirements, and other relevant action items for actual operation.