China has extended the curbs on power consumption due to the worst heat wave in 60 years. As a result, automakers, including U.S. Tesla Inc. and Chinese NIO Inc., had to suspend some of their charging facilities.
As Apollo News reported, the power crisis is affecting numerous sectors in China, including electric vehicle manufacturers.
Chengdu City and nearby Chongqing City, Sichuan Province, suffered their longest severe drought since the 1960s. Due to the sharp drop in water levels, the hydroelectricity production is only half the average.
The heat wave has led to a surge in electricity demand.
Early this week, the China Meteorological Administration issued another red alert for high temperature while continuing to give an orange warning for drought.
200 weather stations across China have recorded high temperatures of over 40°C, 104℉, since August.
NIO, an electric car manufacturer in China, sent a temporary notice to their car owners on the charging map page of its user app. The company said that some of its battery swap stations in Chengdu city were “offline” due to severely overloaded power grids under constant high temperatures.
Tesla also issued a notice, announcing that only two of its 14 supercharging stations in Chengdu were open as of August 17, while the other 12 were temporarily closed or closed.
In Chongqing, all supercharging stations are limited in service or temporarily closed.
Videos from social media users show that many electric cars lined up to charge late at night on August 23. Some netizens said that almost every charging station has long queues.
Teld New Energy operates some 300,000 charging stations across the country. It requires drivers to check if the service is online before leaving, as local authorities demand the closure of some stations.
Meanwhile, NIO is calling on Sichuan users to share home chargers from August 20 to September 20.
The power outages in Sichuan made it the worst province for manufacturers, including Toyota Motor Corp. and battery maker Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., both had to close their factories.
According to Bloomberg, the factory of Contemporary Amperex Technology in Sichuan has ceased production. The lithium produced in Sichuan accounts for more than one-fifth of China’s output, and Contemporary Amperex Technology built the Yibin factory, its second-largest production base, in the province.
The Yibin factory produces batteries for Tesla, so there are concerns that the disruption will eventually affect the U.S. automaker.
The curbs on power consumption in Sichuan also prevent suppliers from producing sufficient auto parts, which may lead to equipment shortages for Tesla and other manufacturers.