China Quick Take: Battery swap station, methane-powered rocket and German-born pandas

By admin Dec16,2023

01:00

We’ve rounded up six of the best stories from China that you may have missed this week…

Twin panda cubs born head to China

Twin panda cubs ‘Pit’ and ‘Paule’, born in 2019, are preparing to return to China from their birthplace of Berlin Zoo in the next few days. To commemorate the brothers who grew up there, Berlin Zoo held a special send-off ceremony with their commemorative nameplates unveiled.

Fans from Belgium and France also came to bid farewell to the giant pandas. “Although people will miss them here, I’m very sure about that, knowing that they (will) go to the high-class facility in Chengdu, that gives (me) a lot of comfort. I wish them a good trip, and then a long and prosperous life in Chengdu,” said Jeroen Jacobs, founder of Giant Panda Global website.

China publishes air quality action plan

China’s State Council has published an action plan to improve air quality amid the country’s efforts to promote high-quality economic development. The plan contains a series of measures designed to achieve bluer skies by 2025, such as propelling green industrial shifts, building a cleaner energy mix and developing a low-carbon transport system.

Giant pandas Meng Xiang (right) and Meng Yuan - known locally by their German names Pit and Paule were born in Germany but will move to China this month. /CFP

Giant pandas Meng Xiang (right) and Meng Yuan – known locally by their German names Pit and Paule were born in Germany but will move to China this month. /CFP

Giant pandas Meng Xiang (right) and Meng Yuan – known locally by their German names Pit and Paule were born in Germany but will move to China this month. /CFP

Battery swap station opens in Dalian

The first battery swap station for commercial electric vehicles (EVs) in northeast China has opened to public use in Dalian City of Liaoning Province, a landmark step in the region’s zero-carbon drive.

The battery swap station serves small commercial EVs such as lightweight trucks. When a truck enters the station, a mechanical tray will approach it from behind, unlocking the embedded battery beneath the vehicle. The tray will then slide out the battery, place it onto the charging shelve, and install a new battery, reversing its previous actions.

Methane-powered rocket set for maiden flight

Private Chinese company LandSpace has released details about its Zhuque-3 methane and liquid oxygen-powered reusable rocket, which is expected to be ready for its maiden flight in 2025.

The Zhuque-3 carrier rocket, which will be China’s first rocket made of stainless steel, is 4.5 meters in diameter, with a total length of 76.6 meters. Its lift-off weight is about 660 tons, with a carrying capacity of 21.3 tons.

Private Chinese company LandSpace says it expects its methane-powered reusable rocket to be ready for its maiden flight in 2025. /CMG.

Private Chinese company LandSpace says it expects its methane-powered reusable rocket to be ready for its maiden flight in 2025. /CMG.

Private Chinese company LandSpace says it expects its methane-powered reusable rocket to be ready for its maiden flight in 2025. /CMG.

Largest onshore wind farm launches

China’s largest onshore wind power project commenced operation at full capacity on Sunday morning in northern Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

With 701 wind turbine generators and a combined installed capacity of three million kilowatts, the wind farm of state-owned China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN) based in Hinggan League can generate electricity of over 10 billion kilowatt-hours annually, reducing the use of standard coal by 2.96 million tons and carbon dioxide emissions by 8.02 million tons.

Snowfall creates glorious mountain views

Heavy snowfall has hit the southern parts of Shanxi Province in northern China since December 10. In the city of Changzhi, the Taihang Mountains have been transformed into a white wonderland. Looking from above, the site resembles a stunning Chinese ink painting. The Yongzuo Temple in the capital city of Taiyuan is also blanketed in white, and its renowned twin towers stand solemn and peaceful.

China Quick Take: Battery swap station, methane-powered rocket and German-born pandas

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