Analysis of the current development status of China’s new energy vehicles and pure electric vehicles

In the “Thirteenth Five-Year Plan” new energy vehicle technology research and development, China has formulated a new energy vehicle technology upgrade strategy, which combines the realization of electrification, intelligence, and lightweight of vehicles. The three strategies are interrelated. In addition, comprehensive development will be carried out from four levels: basic science, common core technology, system integration, and integrated development demonstration. From the perspective of power batteries, further emphasis on battery management; from the perspective of motor drive, further emphasis on power electronics; from the perspective of electronic control, transform it into intelligent technology, continue to advance in basic science and demonstration assessment, and realize the integration of the entire innovation chain.

Compared with foreign countries, traditional Chinese automobiles are relatively backward, but in terms of new energy automobiles, China started earlier, standing on the same starting line as most developed countries, and developing rapidly. As early as 1998, the Chinese government began to implement the “Clean Car Plan” to promote the development of new vehicles represented by electric vehicles.

In 2012, China issued the “Energy-saving and New Energy Automobile Industry Development Plan (2012-2020)”. It is pointed out that it is necessary to accelerate the cultivation and development of the energy-saving and new energy automobile industry, promote the transformation and upgrading of the automobile industry, and use pure electric drive as the main strategic orientation for the transformation of the automobile industry. The current focus is on the industrialization of pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Therefore, in terms of domestic new energy vehicles, pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles have developed rapidly. Due to the lack of policy support and the relatively backward technical level, the development of fuel cell vehicles in China needs to be improved. Figure 1 shows the production and sales volume and forecast of China’s new energy vehicles in recent years.

Analysis of the current development status of China's new energy vehicles and pure electric vehicles
Figure 1 – China’s new energy vehicle production and sales volume and forecasted volume in recent years

Analysis of the development status of pure electric vehicles in China

In recent years, the state has increased its subsidies for new energy vehicles, and has also proposed a double-point policy. Major domestic auto companies have begun to deploy new energy vehicle strategies. As a leader in new energy vehicles, BYD is one of the first domestic auto companies to develop pure electric vehicles, and its products cover various models such as passenger cars and commercial vehicles. In 2012, when the national new energy policy was unclear, BYD took the lead in launching the e6, a pure electric vehicle with a driving range of 300km. With the improvement of battery energy density and vehicle technical capabilities, the 2016 BYD e6 is equipped with a lithium iron phosphate battery with a capacity of 82kW·h. The driving range has reached 400km, which is widely recognized by consumers, as shown in Figure 2.

Analysis of the current development status of China's new energy vehicles and pure electric vehicles
Figure 2 – BYD e6 pure electric vehicle

SAIC Roewe is also committed to the development of pure electric vehicles. At the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show, SAIC Roewe launched a pure electric super coupe SUV-“Wings of Light” Vision-E, as shown in Figure 3. In terms of power, the “Wings of Light” Vision-E is driven by dual motors, the acceleration time from 100 kilometers is less than 4s, and the battery energy is only half of the Tesla Model X, but the maximum cruising range can reach 500km, and the comprehensive cruising range will also reach 400km. In addition, the car also uses wireless charging technology, charging for 15 minutes can reach 80% of the battery capacity.

Analysis of the current development status of China's new energy vehicles and pure electric vehicles
Figure 3 – Wings of Light Vision-E Pure Electric Vehicle

In the field of pure electric buses, BYD has been the domestic sales champion of pure electric buses for three consecutive years. The cumulative sales of K9 and K8 electric buses launched in 2010 and 2014 have exceeded 20,000. In addition, BYD will launch the new K9 and K8 pure electric buses at the end of 2017. The new models will be equipped with the industry’s first thermal management system for the power battery of the bus to ensure that the battery can perform optimally under different ambient temperatures and is resistant. The characteristics of high temperature, high temperature resistance, high safety, easy maintenance, wide application, etc., can meet the needs of different regions and use environments such as high temperature, high temperature, and high altitude, and will refresh the technology, quality and market of the passenger car industry to a new level. In addition, the 2017 K9 electric bus will be equipped with a higher energy density power battery, and the driving range will exceed 350km, which can fully meet the daily needs of busses in big cities, as shown in Figure 4.

Analysis of the current development status of China's new energy vehicles and pure electric vehicles
Figure 4 – BYD K9 electric bus