Degree completed in 2016.

Electric vehicles in China: past, present and future

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Academic Profile

Zichen Zhang is currently a doctoral researcher at the Transport Studies Unit within the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. Zichen holds a BE in Logistics Engineering (2009) from Jilin University in China and an MSc in Engineering Business Management (2010) from the University of Warwick in UK. His MSc research was in the field of challenges for development of Electric Vehicles in China, and now he concentrates on the researches of the impact of the different utilization scenarios for new energy vehicles (especially focus on electric vehicles) on the transportation and electricity production sectors including energy consumption, fossil fuels use and emissions reductions.

Current Research

Zichen's current doctoral research examines the impact assessment of different utilization scenarios for Pure Electric Vehicles (PEV) on China's transport system and power grid. This research quantifies the contribution of the transportation and electricity production sectors together to energy consumption, fossil fuels use and emissions reductions in China; the study evaluates the impact of different electric vehicle utilization scenarios on the transport system (including the energy consumption and emissions) and national grid (including the load profiles and storage utilization of electric vehicles (V2G-vehicle to grid)); Furthermore, an economic analysis of electric vehicle utilization is performed by considering the impact of different charging scenarios on vehicles owners, charging station operator and electric utilities; and the results are compared with the conventional diesel vehicle. In addition, the study proposes a conceptual regulatory framework and business models for charging battery electric vehicles in China by assessment of infrastructure, agents and commercial relationships.

Research Interests

Zichen's research interests revolve around the following themes:

  1. LCA of energy consumption and CO2 emissions of EV integrated with different electricity production mix;
  2. The potential energy and emission impact of EVs by considering different charging scenarios defined by different charging power levels, locations, and charging time;
  3. The actual benefit impacts for consumers and operators and understand the market value of the different battery charging strategies; and
  4. The storage utilization of electric vehicles (V2G - vehicle to grid).