State Grid Electric Vehicle Service, an offshoot of China’s state owned electricity provider, has partnered with local carmaker BAIC Group to expand its electric vehicle (EV) recharging network.

The two are now working together to establish a dedicated EV service network which will include charging piles and battery replacement stations.

The network will also feature EV and battery pack sales operations and other facilities, according to local reports.

EV battery replacement is offered as an alternative to recharging services.

Last month, State Grid Electric Vehicle Service signed a similar collaboration deal with BMW to help the German carmaker roll out its EV recharging network in the country.

State Grid EV Service said two battery replacement stations in Ji’nan and Qingdao in Shandong province, built jointly by the two companies, commenced operations this week.

The National Energy Administration said China had 1.32m charging piles and 120 battery replacement stations at the end of June, making it the largest EV charging and battery replacement network worldwide.

State Grid EV Service alone has a network of 658,000 charging piles in operation in the country and aims increase this to more than 1m by the end of the year.