By Liu Jin
"It can be estimated from this year's development situation that production of new energy vehicle in China is expected to account for 40 percent of the world in 2016." Xu Yanhua, deputy secretary general of China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said at the Forum on Development Trend of New Energy Automobile in "13th Five-Year Plan" Period held the day before that from January to October, the production of new energy vehicles has accounted for more than 1.6 percent of the domestic automobile production. Under the promotion of a number of support policies in consumption, tax and finance issued by the government, the new energy automotive industry is developing in an innovative way with its industrial chain gradually clearing and the industrial ecology having initially formed.
More than 500 thousand sales expected
Data from CAAM show that in November, the production of new energy vehicle in China is 84 thousand, an increase of 16.21 percent year-on-year; from January to November, the cumulative production of new energy vehicles is 402.8 thousand, an increase of 44.27 percent year-on-year.
"The production and sales of new energy vehicles showed a trend of blowout this year." Xu Yanhua introduces that from January to October, the average monthly sales of new energy vehicles is around 35,000 sets. The Catalog of New Energy Vehicles Recommended to be Promoted for Application released by MIIT recently is expected to let the new energy vehicle sales this year appear a tail up trend. The sales of new energy vehicles this year is expected to exceed 500 thousand and the ownership of new energy vehicle will be more than 900 thousand, or even up to 1 million.
Xu Yanhua said that the growth of sales of new energy vehicles is attributed to the overall progress of the whole industry, namely the breakthrough of the key technology, the gradual clear of the industry chain, the initial formation of a relatively perfect industrial ecology, and the substantial increase of public acceptance and desire to purchase.
As the heart of a new energy vehicle, the battery has achieved a particularly marked progress. Guo Wei, general manager of Beijing National Battery Technology Co., Ltd., said that the energy density of current domestic LFP, ternary material battery monomer has doubled than 10 years ago. The industry has formed the industrialization ability on key materials and established a better technology system of aluminum ion power battery. LFP power battery has also achieved scale of industrialization and the globally matching; the key technologies of the fuel cell and its components have been mastered initially. "This means that in the next stage of the global competition, China's new energy vehicles have had the strength and confidence of competition," said Guo Wei.
Seeing from the performance, the enterprises in new energy automotive industry chain are excellent. As of December 11 this year, 1230 A-shares listed companies in Shanghai Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Stock Exchange have issued their performance forecast for 2016. In terms of the industry in which the companies have expected greater annual performance, the new energy automotive industry chain has particularly marked performance, especially those enterprises producing lithium battery and its raw material in upstream.
Intelligent manufacturing becoming innovative trend
At the Paris Auto Show recently held, the European car giants which have been inactive on the new energy vehicles began to make substantial progress: Benz launched a new energy automobile brand EQ and told it will soon be mass produced and available in the market; BMW, Volkswagen and other veteran manufacturers will launch new energy vehicles in large quantity as well.
"Problem of too simple production mode exists in some large domestic enterprises, that is, take over the traditional car and change the internal combustion engine into an electric motor," said Shi Jianhua, deputy secretary general of CAAM. It is gratifying that under the guidance of the country's "Made in China 2025" and "Industry 4.0" strategies, the situation has changed. Enterprises with independent brands like Changan Auto, Geely Auto and GAC Trumpchi have invested heavily to build new energy vehicle R&D platform. The intelligent manufacturing will become the development trend of new energy vehicles.
Meng Hui, chief of new energy planning section of Jianghuai Automobile Co., Ltd. Planning Department, said, "JAC is earlier in developing the new energy vehicles, but it is only a kind of sustaining innovation based on the traditional car, other than the overturned innovation. We are embracing the Internet to seek growth opportunities".
In addition, intelligent manufacturing also causes the change of participant role in automobile industry chain. The participation of a number of non automotive manufacturers brings the "catfish effect" and causes the differentiation of self built factory and the third party OEM factory, which has impacted the traditional production mode of automobile. The OEM cooperation between NEXTEV and JAC is regarded as a brand new way of manufacturing, while SINGULATO are sitting on two chairs.
Liu Haiming, co-founder of the SINGULATO and director of automotive systems, presented that the present products of SINGULATO including two parts, namely independent brand finished automobile and intelligent vehicle system, of which the intelligent vehicle system includes a combination of instruments, central-controlled entertainment, ADAS automatic driving and IoV services. "All the IoV services are centered by the user's lodging, entertainment and other needs," said Liu Haiming.
Evolving new consumption model
At a place near an emporium by the Dawang Road of Beijing, many new energy vehicles labeled QR code of "Yidu Car Rental" are arranged in good order. "Rent a car by sweeping the code", without handover, without a key. The time sharing rental of the new energy vehicle has come to us.
The consumption of new energy vehicle is presented by two major trends. First, the proportion of new energy vehicles sold to terminal private users is continuously improving, representing the gradually warming of the private market; second, a large number of new energy vehicles have flowed to various types of car rental companies. These two major trends correspond to two models in the new energy vehicles consumer segment, namely B2B and B2C. "In future, new energy vehicles used for the time sharing rental may account for one third of the total sales. It will become one of the main trends in the market," predicted Cao Gang, CEO of i-EV.
The new energy vehicle consumers represented by car rental companies have become a key lever of the new energy vehicle market by means of their own operation ability and capital strength. In addition to the traditional car rental companies who began to get involved in new energy vehicles, new car rental companies are also actively entering into this area. The two representatives of them are China Car Experts and Baojia. While Yidu Car Rental is the representative of the third party car rental companies who take the new energy vehicles as their breakthrough point to the market. Meanwhile, Pang Da Group, a traditional car dealer, has set up its own car rental company as well.
Gofun, a brand founded by China Car Experts, is engaging in the new energy vehicle project. Tan Yi, COO of Gofun, said that car rental companies have encountered the same problems such as charging problem which needs these car rental companies to solve.
Thanks to venture capital upsurge, car rental companies have had more access to resources. The time sharing rental is a new hotspot and will enter into a long-run competitive process along with the continuous evolution of consumption patterns of new energy vehicle.