The Chinese New Energy Vehicle market China EV Sales for H1 2017

The Chinese New Energy Vehicle market China EV Sales for H1 2017

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THE CHINESE NEW ENERGY VEHICLE MARKET H1 2017

China EV Sales H1 2017, a summary

We look at the Top brands and models, the gainers and losers and how the battle between battery electric (BEV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) technologies play out in the summary of China EV Sales H1 2017.

The highlights for Chinese electric car sales in H1 2017 was:

  • Chinese EV Sales grew by 38.3% Year-on-Year or by more than 44,000 units over the same period in 2016;
  • The H1 2017 semester got off to a bad start with one of the worst months in the last three years but recovered with the months of May and June registering the third and fourth best sales ever.
  • More than four pure electric vehicles were sold for every plug-in hybrid in a market where there are 44 BEV models available to the consumer and only fifteen PHEVs;
  • Twenty new models, most of them BEV’s, were available to consumers in this semester compared to the same period in 2016;
  • The Top 2 EV Brands in the China remained the same but one of last year’s top performers, JAC, spectacularly fell out of the Top 3.

The Chinese New Energy Vehicle market: China EV Sales for H1 2017

The Top Electric Vehicle Brands for 2017 H1 in China

 

The Top 3 EV brands in China for the first half of 2017 were BYD, BAIC, and Zhidou. Although BYD hung on to its first place, it sees its lead evaporate. BYD hardly registered any sales in the January 2017, and lost sales in its top performing Qin and Tang model ranges to competing new models from BAIC, Chery, and SAIC Roewe. BYD, one of the largest EV brands in the world, is seeing its position as China’s best performing EV brand challenged as it lost over 20% of its sales compared to 2016, while its competitor BAIC more doubled its sales. BAIC benefited from exciting new models entering the market in the last 12 months, with its small hatch, the BAIC EC180 being a top performer for three of the six months ending up the second best selling EV for the semester. Smaller EVs, or City cars, have also performed very well with the popular Zhidou Geely D2 selling nearly 20,000 units. Another brand with small EV models, Zotye, was placed fourth due to the popularity of its Cloud 100, E200 and E30 models. Other Top 10 Chinese EV brands selling city cars included Chery and JMC, both placed in the Top 10. Although JAC brought the exciting JAC iEV6S small SUV to market it was not enough to withstand the onslaught of its peers, crashing out of the Top 3 to the eight position. Tesla also entered the Top 10 list with the Model X performing very well (please note the June 2017 Tesla data did not make it in time for our analysis, which would have aided the brand’s performance). Western brands such as Volvo, BMW through its local partner BMW Brilliance, Daimler and GM mostly gave up market share to Chinese-produced vehicles.

The Chinese New Energy Vehicle market: China EV Sales for H1 2017

 

The Top Electric Vehicle Models for 2017 H1 in China

Twenty new EV models entered the Chinese EV market in the first half of 2017 but only three, the BAIC EC180, SAIC Roewe eRX5 and BYD Song DM, made it to the Top 10 list of electric vehicles in China. None of last years Top 5 could hang on to their positions with two of the new models, the BAIC EC180 and SAIC Roewe eRX5, entering the market with Top 5 positions within three months from being launched. Last year’s Top 3 EVs, the BYD Tang, BAIC E200, and BYD Qin all crashed out, with the BYD Tang the only model able to hold on to a Top 10 position. Plug-in Hybrid vehicles could only muster three positions in the Top 20 as small city EVs made up more than half of the units sold in 2017 to date. The popular SUV class accounted for 26% of the units sold in the Top 20 list of EVs in China while plug-in hybrids only accounted for 16% of all the EVs sold. New electric vehicle models made up 31% of all the EVs sold during the period under review.

The Chinese New Energy Vehicle market: China EV Sales for H1 2017

 

Electric Vehicle Models for 2017 H1 in China, the losers

BYD’s ailing fortunes are clear in the list of losers for the first half of 2017 but another popular EV brand from 2016, Kandi, saw diminishing sales as its Kandi K17 Cyclone could not compete with the host of new small city cars entering the Chinese EV market. Clear again is the composition of plug-in hybrids and foreign brands in the list of the worst performing electric cars.

The Chinese New Energy Vehicle market: China EV Sales for H1 2017

 

The battle between BEV and PHEV models in China

Plug-in hybrid models are losing the battle in China, strange though that 35% of the new models launched in the last 12 months are PHEVs. In the comparable period in 2016 plug-in electric vehicles made up 33% of all the units sold while the vehicle type only contributed to 16% of all sales in 2017.

The Chinese New Energy Vehicle market: China EV Sales for H1 2017

A detailed breakdown of all electric vehicles sold in China for the first half of 2017

 

The Chinese New Energy Vehicle market: China EV Sales for H1 2017

Be sure to check out our new presentation of all EVs since 2010 to gain great insights on all auto brands and their electric vehicle strategies. We have also created presentations per technology type BEV, PHEV, and FCEV.

Interested in finding the best electric vehicle for you? Download our fun and easy app below, set your preferred technology, price, and range and swipe left the models you don’t like, right the ones you do, enter the chat rooms and share your thoughts with the community.

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Introducing Chinese electric car brands – BAIC and sub-brand BJEV

Introducing Chinese electric car brands – BAIC and sub-brand BJEV

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Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co. Ltd (BAIC) is 60% owned by the Chinese Government. BAIC spun its electric vehicle business into a separate unit, Beijing Electric Vehicle Company (BJEV). The company raised $460mln in and IPO for its Electric Vehicle unit, drawing investors such as LE Holdings, the Chinese company with ties to Faraday Future and LeAuto. The BJEV factory is situated in Caiyu, Daxing, Beijing. The vehicle bodies are welded in Zhuzhou Hunan province. BJEV has launched its new range of EV’s, called Arcfox. BJEV unveiled its first concept vehicles for the Arcfox sub-brand in 2016 which comprised of the tiny open top SUV, the Arcfox-1 and the performance model the Arcfox-7 which is based on the Formula E platform of the NextEV Racing team.

BAIC was founded in September 2010 and tried to acquire the intellectual property rights of GM unit, SAAB Automobile’s in 2009 for $200m but failed. The German company, Daimler AG, acquired a 12% shareholding in BAIC during November 2013. BAIC produces some of the best-selling electric vehicles in the country, the E150/160/200 series, the EU260, and EC180 which is the top seller for 2017. The Daimler influence is clear in the design of the new BAIC EU260 model, which looks similar to the Mercedes C series.

BAIC BJEV was one of the first automakers to qualify for an electric vehicle production certificate from the Chinese Government in 2016 as part of the Chinese New Energy Vehicle Program to regulate the EV sector.

BAIC BJEV is now in its third generation of EV technology and is the best-selling electric vehicle auto company in China. The company announced an aggressive five-year plan in 2016 whereby it aims to sell 500,000 per annum by 2020. At the end of 2015, the company was the fourth largest EV manufacturer in the world and has since improved its performance with a 156% jump in sales in 2016, putting it ahead of BYD. The company is planning the launch of the Arcfox 1 in 2017 followed by other pure electric models the BAIC Senova EX260 SUV and BAIC EH300. 2018 will see the release of BAIC EH300L SUV EV and EX400L SUV.

list electric vehicles baic bjev electric car models

Click through to the BAIC’s page on wattEV2Buy to explore the past, present and future EV models by the Chinese automaker.

Be sure to check out our new presentation of all EVs since 2010 to gain great insights on all auto brands and their electric vehicle strategies. We have also created presentations per technology type BEV, PHEV, Autonomous, and FCEV.

Stay tuned to wattEV2buy and follow the rest of our weekly series on Chinese EV brands.

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How successful is the Chinese New Energy Vehicles Program?

How successful is the Chinese New Energy Vehicles Program?

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45% of Chinese EV makers sold less than 500 models per year

 

The recent Chinese Auditor General’s report on the Central Governments budget for the implementation of its New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) program has delivered some mixed results. The State’s Auditing Administration found some disturbing results from its inspection of 66 companies producing new energy vehicles including passenger vehicles, buses, and commercial vehicles. One has to ask yourself how successful has the program been when finding that 2,200 vehicles out of 35,500 produced by 13 companies were left unsold for a period of longer than a year? How successful has the program been to alleviate pollution in cities if 17,200 of the 35,500 traveled less than 3,000km (1,875 miles) in a year?

The program to promote NEVs was established in 2010 to form part of China’s 12th 5-year plan running from 2011 to 2015. The program had a budget of RMB 100 billion ($14.4 Billion) which included the promotion of EVs through subsidies, development of a charging network, and manufacturing incentives. In 2016 the country cracked down on the rampant abuse of the system by handing down fines totaling $150 million and closing five of the worst offenders. In total, the Audit Administration’s report found, that subsidies to the tune of RMB 1.67 Billion ($240 million) were overpaid due to cheating, which is nearly half the entire budget of eight provincial funds.

The Minister of Industry and Information Technology was quoted in January 2017 that China aims to quadruple its NEV fleet to 2 million units by 2020 and have one in five cars as EVs by 2025, which is expected to be 7 million EVs. The report found that in some cases the subsidies might have been too effective in targeting the development of NEVs. In a sample of around 6,800 units from 13 companies, it was found that more than half was buses, which received subsidies of 70% of the units sales price or higher, skewing the intended outcome away from passenger vehicles.

In January 2017 the Government cracked down on the sector by capping the total subsidies available at the Local Government level at 50% of that of the Central Government, dropping the NEV subsidy by 20% effective 1 January 2017, and raising the technology threshold of distance per charge and energy consumption. The new subsidy at Central Government level is now 44,000 yuan ($6,333) for EVs with a range greater than 250km (156 miles), down from 60,000 yuan ($8,600). The subsidy for buses was capped at 300,000 yuan (43,000) down from 500,000 yuan ($72,000). The sudden crackdown led to a crash in NEV sales for January 2017 of below 8,000 units compared to a full year total for 2016 of around 500,000 units. The sector has since recovered but is not expected to reach the stellar growth that it needs to outpace 2016 by double digits.

Other headline figures from the Auditor’s report shows that 45% of EV makers sold less than 500 models per year, which is a justification for the country implementing a production certificate system. The permitting of automakers to produce EVs have reached its current limit of 15 production certificates when JAC received authorisation for its 100,000 units per annum plant.

On the positive side, the Auditor found that Chinese automakers are starting to dominate the world market for electric vehicles as three, BYD, Geely, and BAIC rank in the top ten by EV sales list. Auto parts companies such as CATL, a battery manufacturer, and Jing-Jin Electric, a manufacturer of drivetrains for EVs have become internationally known for their products.

Going forward the Chinese Government is changing tact from a carrot and stick approach by promoting NEVs through subsidies and regulation to relying more on the stick by introducing more stringent NEV quotas on auto manufacturers from 2018. The Chinese authorities had a visit in June 2017 from the California Resource Board, to co-operate on the proposed Chinese ZEV quotas. The Californian Resource Board was responsible for the state’s much hailed Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) framework. The proposed Chinese ZEV quotas are set to require auto manufacturers to have ZEV’s contribute 8% of their sales in 2018 and increase annually by 2% to reach 12% in 2020.

 

Picture: Workers assemble new-energy cars at a workshop of Weidong New-Energy Car Co Ltd in Zouping, Shandong province. [Photo/China Daily]

Be sure to check out our new presentation of all EVs since 2010 to gain great insights on all auto brands and their electric vehicle strategies. We have also created presentations per technology type BEV, PHEV, and FCEV.

nterested in learning more about Chinese electric vehicles? Download our fun and easy app below, flick the China switch and swipe left the models you don’t like, right the ones you do, enter the chat rooms and share your thoughts with the community.

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Traum Auto, another new vehicle brand chasing the Chinese dream

Traum Auto, another new vehicle brand chasing the Chinese dream

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TRAUM AUTO TO FOCUS ON THE YOUTH SEGMENT

GoTo Traum EV Models to see the latest models, news, and sales.

The latest auto brand coming from China, Traum Auto from the Zotye stable, was officially launched on the 27th of June 2017. The company is registered as Traum New Energy Automobile and will be headquartered in Hebei Province. The new Chinese auto brand will use Zotye’s Chongqing plant for its vehicle production. Traum is the German word for “Dream” and judging from the pace of growth in the Chinese auto sector the Chinese Dream is to have a vehicle, more particularly an SUV.

The new Zotye brand is focussed on the aspirational youth segment in the fast-growing Chinese economy. Most automakers globally struggle to attract the younger generation to show interest in owning vehicles as mobility trends change. In the USA only around 20% of the youth in a 2012 survey showed any interest at all in getting a drivers license. In the Japan Toyota discontinuing its youth brand Scion at the end of 2016.

 

Will Traum Auto develop electric vehicles?

Traum Auto, very much like another newcomer Yudo Auto, is zooming in on the SUV segment as it plans to release eight SUVs in the next three years and only one sedan or hatch vehicle. Other than Yudo which will only produce electric vehicles, Traum will produce vehicles with an original design and advanced power plants over the whole spectrum of HYBRID, PHEV and BEV technologies leveraging on Zotye’s knowhow. The company targets efficiencies for its hybrid vehicles of 4liter/100km and plug-in hybrids of 2l/100km and BEV with a range of 550km (340 miles).Traum Auto Model release

 

Traum has more than one German connection.

Traum Auto aims to develop connected car’s packed with the latest technologies and will kick off with a five and seven seater SUV as early as November this year.

Being in step with its target market Traum Auto will use new sales channels to distribute its vehicles. China has embraced e-commerce and other Chinese automakers such as Geely has already switched to online delivery channels away from the physical dealership model. China’s most popular city EV, the Geely Zhi Dou D2 EV is sold exclusively through experience centers, Geely’s Tmall.com store and new energy vehicle online platform Diandong.com. Traum Auto will, however, must have some physical presence close to its clients as it is still tied to regular servicing of combustion engines. 

Traum Auto has named Song Jia as its CEO and gained the skills of Benedek Toth as its designer. Benedek Toth worked as Senior Designer at Mercedes-Benz’s RDNA Advanced Design in California. Do you see the Mercedes connection in the Traum models rendered below? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.

Traum Auto Models

Pictures: autoreview.ru

Be sure to check out our new presentation of all EVs since 2010 to gain great insights on all auto brands and their electric vehicle strategies. We have also created presentations per technology type BEV, PHEV, and FCEV.

Interested in learning more about Chinese electric vehicles? Download our fun and easy app below, flick the China switch and swipe left the models you don’t like, right the ones you do, enter the chat rooms and share your thoughts with the community.

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Introducing Chinese electric car brands – Thunder Power

Introducing Chinese electric car brands – Thunder Power

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Thunder Power Holdings is a Hong Kong-based start-up hailing from Taiwan. The brand was officially launched on two occasions. The Asia Pacific brand launch was at the end of March 2017 in Hong Kong and included the signing of an agreement with the Catalan Government for the company’s European expansion. The second launch, this time for Mainland China, was held on the 23rd and 31st of May 2017 in Beijing and Shanghai.

Thunder Power have been developing EVs from 2011 and introduced its first concept vehicles, the Thunder Power Racer and Sedan in 2015 at the Frankfurt Auto Show. Production of Thunder Power electric cars is anticipated for 2018 at its assembly plant in Guangzhou, Guangdong Province China. A 10,000 sq.m prototype manufacturing facility has already been completed in the first half of 2017 on the company’s 165-acre site. When completed the plant will have a capacity of 100,000 units per annum. The plant is a joint venture with the Guangzhou municipal investment fund, the GanNan Fund. The investment from the fund is around 2.5 billion yuan and is expected to drive a total investment of 7.5 billion yuan.

The Thunder Power EV strategy is to be a global player and includes a second plant in Catalonia, Spain, where it has already opened an R&D Center for an investment of €80 million. The plant is expected to be constructed to be ready for production by 2019.

Thunder Power won two awards for design at the 2016 Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris, albeit only for its logo and stand design.

Thunder Power’s first production EV is based on its Sedan Concept. The top-end sedan, designed by Dallara in Italy, will have a range of 650km from a 125kWh battery. The entry level sedan will start with an 85kWh battery and 200kW electric motor. The 320kWh Racer has a top speed of 240km/h. Thunder Power uses NMC (Nickel Manganese Cobalt) chemistry for its battery packs.

Thunder Power has opened orders for the sedan on its website. The Sedan is priced at around $72,000 (490,000 yuan).

thunder-power-logo

Click through to the Thunder Power’s page on wattEV2Buy to explore the past, present and future EV models by the Chinese automaker.

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Introducing Chinese electric car brands – GAC Motors

Introducing Chinese electric car brands – GAC Motors

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The relatively young GAC Motors is one of China’s best-respected vehicle brands. The company has a defined EV strategy and will add three models to its EV fleet in 2017.

Guangzhou Automobile Group Topped the “2016 BEST CHINESE CAR BRAND” Customer satisfaction survey.

Guangzhou Automobile Group Co, Ltd. founded in 2005 has various Joint Ventures with large international auto manufacturers such as Toyota, Hino, and Honda. Wanxiang Group, a large auto-parts manufacturer, and owner of Karma Automotive, previously known as Fisker Automotive, is one of the founding shareholders.

GAC MOTOR established its New Energy division at the end of 2015. The division focused on developing its R&D and production to penetrate the growing Chinese market for EV’s. The New Energy strategy is supported by GAC Group’s “1513” new-energy development strategy which makes the development of an R & D platform, R & D of core technologies a key development direction for its products.

GAC has international ambitions and aims to establish sales and service networks in 14 countries, including North America, Africa, South and Eastern Europe and South East Asia. GAC has reaped the rewards of creating a world-class vehicle brand and sold more than 380,000 vehicles in 2016, compared to around 194,000 the previous year, and has achieved 80 percent compound annual growth rate from 2011 to 2016. The company expects to sell 500,000 cars in 2017 and plans to produce 1 million cars in 2020. The Group targets 200,000 new energy vehicles in 2020 and meeting fuel consumption targets of 5.0L/100Km over its model range. In 2016 GAC Trumpchi delivered a total of 3,378 units of its GA5 PHEV model, an increase of 167% on 2015.

To support its strategy, Guangzhou Automobile Group passed two resolutions impacting EV development at its Board of Directors meeting on June 5th, 2017.

  1. It was resolved that a new company would be established for the Groups New Energy Vehicle (NEV) program. The company would be named GAC New Energy Automotive Co. Ltd. and would be capitalized to the tune of RMB 300m.
  2. It was further resolved to increase the GAC Motor’s capital with RMB 2.26b to expand its annual EV capacity of 200,000 units by 2020. GAC Motor is launching nine new Trumpchi models, of which three is NEV models, namely the GE3 BEV crossover, GS4 PHEV and GA6 PHEV.

GAC Motors are also pursuing other electric mobility solutions. In February 2016, Guangzhou Lixin Taxi Company owned by GAC Access launched more than 200 Levin twin-engine HEVs into Guangzhou taxi market. Also, GAC Group fully mobilizes the creativity of various business sectors and is actively devoted to new energy and energy conservation and environmental protection. GAC Motors and BYD established a JV in 2015 to co-operate in EV development. As a result, the company launched 400 pure electric buses produced by GAC BYD New Energy Bus Co., Ltd. into Guangzhou public transport system to provide services for citizens. The JV company is 51% owned by GAC and has a registered capital of 300m RMB.

Click through to the GAC Motors page on wattEV2Buy to explore the past, present and future EV models by the Chinese automaker.

Stay tuned to wattEV2buy and follow the rest of our weekly series on Chinese EV brands.

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VW and JAC create electric vehicle joint venture for China

VW and JAC create electric vehicle joint venture for China

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On the 1st of June 2017, VW and JAC signed a joint venture agreement to develop mass market electric vehicles in China. The agreement received the political support of both the German and Chinese Governments as it was signed in the presence of Chancellor Angela Merkel and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. Although the agreement was negotiated over a period of time it is significant that it was signed on the same day that Donald Trump took the USA out of the climate accord agreed in Paris 2015 in a move alienating the USA from the rest of the world.

VW and JAC will each hold 50% in the JV enterprise to develop, produce and market electric vehicles and mobility services with a key focus on mass market EVs over a 25 year period. The JV has already received a production certificate for 100,000 units last week as required by new Chinese regulations created in 2016 to regulate the EV sector. The value of the prospective 100,000 unit plant is set at $740million. VW has been operating in China since 1984 through partnerships with FAW, SAIC, and JAC and plans to deliver 400,000 electric vehicles to the Chinese market in 2020 and 1.5 million electric vehicles in 2025 as part of its electric vehicle strategy, named “TOGETHER – Strategy 2025”. It is planned that the new joint venture with JAC should produce its first jointly developed electric vehicle in 2018. The terms of the partnership according to a VW press release is as follows:

The agreement provides for the construction of a further factory as well as a research and development center. The joint venture also includes the development and production of components for new energy vehicles (NEV), the development of vehicle connectivity and automotive data services. In addition, it is intended that the joint venture should establish new used vehicle platforms and engage in all related business activities.

JAC Motors, China’s 10th largest auto manufacturer is a state-owned enterprise officially know as Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co. Ltd and situated in Hefei, Anhui Province, close the larger Chery Auto. JAC Motors crafted its strategy for the electric vehicle segment, named “The Pure Electric Vehicle Development Plan” in 2002, making JAC an early mover in China and one of the most popular brands. In 2012 the company held the Top 1 position in China and thereby gaining the Top 3 place globally. At 2016 the company sold 22,000 new energy vehicles, bolstering it to showcase the largest range of electric vehicles at the Beijing Auto Show in 2015. JAC has also recently partnered with Carlos Sim to build vehicles in Mexico, taking advantage from Donald Trumps isolating policies there.Volkswagen Konzern und Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC) streben gemeinsame Entwicklung von E-Fahrzeugen in China an

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Blast from the past: SAAB is back, new NEVS 9-3 out in 2018

Blast from the past: SAAB is back, new NEVS 9-3 out in 2018

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NEVS-9-3EV

In 2012 SAAB, the failed Swedish vehicle manufacturer was acquired by a group of Chinese shareholders and rebranded as NATIONAL ELECTRIC VEHICLES SWEDEN (NEVS). Now, five years later, the company is finally unveiling a concept if its much anticipated electric vehicle. NEVS had its fair share of troubles and ran into financial difficulty due to nonperforming partners. India‘s industrial giant, Mahindra and Mahindra owned a majority stake at some stage during the past five years as the company tried various financing structures.

Nonetheless, NEVS prevailed and is one of only fourteen EV manufacturers in China authorized to produce electric vehicles after receiving a production certificate for a 200,000 unit plant in January 2017. NEVS home city of Tianjin is a shareholder in the company through the municipal investment fund.

NEVS announced today that it will unveil a concept of the NEVS 9-3 EV at the upcoming CES Asia in Shanghai to be held from the 7th to 9th of June 2017 and that the production version is expected in 2018, a year later than expected. In 2016 NEVS announced that it sold 20,000 units to state aerospace company, Volinco over a three-year period starting from 2017. NEVS also announced in 2016 that it would supply 150,000 NEVS 9-3’s to Panda New Energy, a JV between go-cart producer Kandi Technologies and Geely.

NEVS also unveiled an SUV targeted at the fast growing segment in China, the NEVS 9-3X SUV Concept. Electric Vehicle watchers and consumers will be disappointed to notice that the shape and style of the NEVS 9-3 and 9-3X SUV changed very little from the earlier SAAB 9-3.

nevs timeline

NEVS further announced that it would introduce the NEVS 9-3 EV in a pilot program with the support of the Tianjin Binhai Hi-tech Industrial Development Area (THT) in its hometown. The pilot program offers car-sharing and ride-hailing solutions in Tianjin, a city with 15 million inhabitants. The users will get access to all NEVS 9-3 EV series, but the company did not say how many NEVS 9-3 vehicles would form part of the pilot, elaborate on how the pilot will work or when it will commence.

NEVS released the following features of the NEVS 9-3 series in in press release today:

  • The new NEVS 9-3 series offer a high level of smart technology to enhance the in-car experience, such as WiFi hotspot, over-the-air software updates and battery management by smart-phone.
  • The new NEVS 9-3 series also offers a world-class filter of cabin air, “Always Clean Air Cabin” (ACAC), with a filter efficiency up to 99%. It takes less than a minute to reduce the hazardous particle levels for PM 2.5 from 500 to 50 µg/m3.
  • The new NEVS 9-3 series are based on more than 70 years of Saab Automobile engineering experience. This is mirrored by the outstanding driving and riding experience through a low center of gravity with smart suspension geometry and tuning.
  • The Swedish heritage showed in both design, high safety, and quality standards.
  • The new NEVS 9-3 series has already passed through rigorous comfort, ride and handling testing and will be launched to the market during 2018.
  • There are already more than 150’000 9-3 vehicles ordered, from different Chinese companies
  • The fleet management portal makes it possible to track and diagnose cars on the road in the distance, which will significantly enhance both the drivers’ and passengers’ safety and health.
  • 300 km range
  • Prepared for mobility services:
    • Digital Car-key in smart-phone App
    • Fleet-Management Portal
    • Vehicle-control by smartphone
    • The new NEVS 9-3 series EVs will be built in NEVS’ China factories.

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China has only 14 legal EV brands, most as ugly as…

China has only 14 legal EV brands, most as ugly as…

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In June 2016 the Chinese authorities embarked on a program to regulate the industry that saw over 200 companies planning to produce over 50 million cars a year. Initially, the Chinese Government announced that it would only provide ten manufacturers with permits to produce electric vehicles in a bid to ensure quality and reliability to the consumer. A year later, at the end of May 2017, 14 new energy vehicle manufacturers were awarded production certificates to develop electric vehicles, with no indication what the new limit on participants is. China leads the world in terms of the size of the electric vehicle market; one would expect that it would lead to the creation of great looking automobiles, the opposite has been the norm.

China’s electric car sector is known for its ugly models, most are either bad clones of other brands, such as the Tesla Model S clone the Youxia Ranger X, or old body types of Japanese or European models with a battery thrown in, such as the 2012 Suzuki SX4 rebadged as the 2017 SD EV Yinse. Currently, most Chinese vehicle manufacturers are bringing mid-to-low end models to production, competing with Western models such as the Tesla Model 3Chevrolet Bolt, Renault Zoe and the Nissan Leaf. A couple of Chinese manufacturers are following the Tesla model of starting with a luxury sedan or sports car and will, therefore, compete with the likes of the Rimac Concept One, Tesla Modle S or Porsche Mission-E.

Many Chinese automakers have addressed design challenges by opening design centers in Europe, mostly in Italy, world-renowned for design, especially automotive design. Some Chinese automakers own established Western brands such as Geely owning Volvo, SAIC Roewe buying MG, NEVS buying SAAB and Wanxiang buying Karma Automotive. One might, therefore, be forgiven to expect that world-class design principles would find its way into Chinese electric vehicle production. Unfortunately, the fusion between Western and Chinese design has yet to deliver eye-catching electric vehicles.

Authorized EV brands in China

With the greater oversight, one would have hoped to be wowed with only the best electric vehicles rising to the top and receiving the coveted production permits. Let’s look at the current Chinese automakers that have been granted production certificates and see what the Chinese consumer and the rest of the world can expect.

BAIC BJEV

The Chinese Government owned BAIC is one of the top-selling EV brands in China and is now into its second generation EV design with the BAIC E200, BAIC EC180, and BAIC EU260. BAIC has also created a stand-alone company for electric vehicles, BJEV and is expected to bring a new brand to light, called Arcfox. Unfortunately, BAIC’s design still looks very much like copies of other brands, take for instance the BAIC EU260 which looks very much like an older Mercedes C-Series.

BAIC-EU260-ev

Changjiang EV

Changjiang EV produces the eCool EV, also know as the FDG Yangtze EV. The company classifies the eCool as a mini-SIV, but in all honesty, it looks more like a hatchback. The eCool comes with 10-inch multi-touch HD screen providing an onboard interconnected experience and a mobile terminal. The vehicle achieved a 4-star C-NCAP measured at 50km/h impact. The hatchback comes in various funky colors, and customers can personalize their dash and seat covers, not that is does anything for the general look of the EV.

changjiang-Yangtze-EV

Qiantu Motor

CH-Auto Technology founded in 2010, the Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer branded as Qiantu Qiche (前途汽车), meaning Future Auto in 2015. Qiantu aims to compete head-on with Tesla and unveiled the Qiantu K50 Event! as the first model in its arsenal to do so ( for all the language buffs, the ! is not a typo but part of the name). The K50 Event! is one of the more appealing Chinese EVs.

qiantu-k50-event

Chery New Energy

Chery Auto was honored with “Best Globalization Strategy for the year 2015” among Chinese Vehicle manufacturers. Chery is a leader in the EV sector with one of the first production cars as far back as 2008.The Chery QQ, first produced in 2015, remains one of the top 10 models in China. The QQ might be popular, but it is certainly not for its looks.

chery-eq1-ev 2018

Jiangsu Minan

The company was founded in 2011 and opened the Jiangsu MIN’AN Automotive Research Institute in October 2015 where it develops its new energy vehicles. Min’an Auto is set to unveil its first EV in 2018. Min’an has the intent to develop three models in 2018, an SUV, rendered below, a sports car and a neighborhood electric (NEV) delivery van. Min’an suffers from the same classification issues as Changjiang EV, trying to sell a hatchback as an SUV.

minan-sportscar-ev

Wanxiang Group (Karma Automotive)

Owned by Chinese auto parts company Wanxiang Group, who bought the remnants of Fisker Automotive in 2013. The company aims to manufacturer 900 Karma Revero’s in 2017. Waxiang Group was one of the first automakers to receive a production certificate allowing it to produce electric vehicles in 2016. The Karma Revero teaser below was released late 2016 and does not look a lot different than the Fisker Karma of 2012.

karma-revero

 

JMC EV

JMC created a new company to house its electric vehicle unit under in early 2015. The plant situated in Nanchang City has a planned production capacity of 70,000 units per year by 2020. JMC EV is planning to follow up on its first electric vehicle the E100 EV with four new models, the E200, E160, S330 SUV PHEV and E170. Th JMC E100 is one of the top 20 sellers in China. Both the E100 and E200 looks quite similar and follows the same boring lines as most of the small electric vehicles such as the Chery QQ and BAIC EC180.

JMC-S330-PHEV

Chongqing Jinkang

The Sokon owned company received its production certificate early 2017 which allows the company to produce 50,000 EVs annually. The company has not unveiled any vehicles but have secured Tesla Co-founder, Martin Eberhard, as a consultant and acquired US-based AC Propulsion at the end of 2016. Sokon developed small commercial vehicles in partnership with Dongfeng.

sokon-ec35-ldv-bev

NEVS

National Electric Vehicles Sweden (NEVS), a Chinese-owned company, acquired the SAAB brand from bankruptcy in 2012. The company received a production permit for 200,000 units annually. The company has already signed an agreement to supply 20,000 SAAB 9-3 to Chinese Aerospace entity, Volinco. Disappointingly it seems that consumers will have to be content with getting another relic from the past as an option when it comes to buying a new EV in China.

nevs 9-3 ev concept

Yudo Auto

Yudo Auto electric vehicles strategy is to produce affordable pure electric SUVs and aims to be a first-class brand in 5 years and international presence in 10 years. Yudo chose the words “creating for change” as its tagline and opened a Design Center in Milan, Italy. The company unveiled two small SUVs at the Shanghai Auto Show in April 2017 as part of its Gemini strategy. The Yudo Pi1 base model looks like a bad knockoff of the VW Tiguan, and the flagship Yudo Pi3 reminds of a Landrover Freelander of the 90’s. Let’s hope there is more “creating for change” down the line.

yudo-pi-1-ev

Know Beans / Zhi Dou

Know Beans (Zhi Dou), a Geely company, and yes that’s the brand’s name, develops the popular ZD D2 mini-car which is also sold under the Zotye label as the Zotye E20. The D2, produced since 205, is also a top 20 electric vehicle in China. You just know, when you look at the D2, that it hails from China. I don’t know what is worse, the brand name or the vehicle, enough said.

zhidou d3 ev

SD EV

Henan Suda EV, also know as SD EV received permission to develop a 100,000 EV plant. SD EV offers one of this ‘Back to the Future’ opportunities, where you can buy a vehicle from 2012 as a brand new model in 2017. SD EV has two EV models ready for production. The vehicles are based on Suzuki SX4 sedan and hatch. The word Suda means to ‘Speed Up’ in Chinese while the Henan refers to the company’s home province.

suda-hatch-ev

Hozon Auto

Hozon received an electric vehicle production certificate allowing it to produce 50,000 units per annum. Hozon unveiled its first concept vehicle, a compact crossover named @, at the 3rd World Internet Conference in November 2016. The Hozon logo looks surprisingly similar than that of Mercedes, and the rendering of the marketing material looks like that of an old generation Buick Lacrosse, while the @ like a Tesla Model X.

hozon-auto-at-ev

GreenWheel

GreenWheel received approval to develop a 50,000 unit plant. The company is better known for developing Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEV). Now that GreenWheel has qualified for EV production it aims to start production of the small crossover, named the V5, which is an electric version of the Weichai Enranger G3.

greenwheel-v5

JAC

JAC and VW entered into a JV to produce 100,000 EVs per annum in May 2017 and became the 15th and last company to receive a permit in this round of permitting.

jac-iev-A50-EV

 

For too long the stereotype Chinese manufacturer has been known for copying rather than innovating. It is therefore disappointing to see that most of the authorized EV producers are still developing cars based on old combustion vehicles. The failure of the permitting process to identify and authorize truly innovative companies to ensure a sustainable and dominant Chinese EV sector will be negative for the whole EV sector, we need companies such as Tesla, testing the boundaries set by traditional auto manufacturers.

At the end of the day, beauty is in the eye of the beholder so I would love to hear your comments on the state of China’s electric vehicle design in the comment section below.

Interested in learning more about Chinese electric vehicles? Download our fun and easy app below, flick the China switch and swipe left the models you don’t like, right the ones you do, enter the chat rooms and share your thoughts with the community.

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China halting development of new combustion plants

China halting development of new combustion plants

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China halting development of new combustion plants

Recently the Chinese Government embarked on a program to clean up the electric vehicle sector which has been negatively impacted a confluence of companies rushing to produce electric vehicles lead to subsidy fraud and sub-standard products. At some point in 2016 over 200 companies had business plans to profit from the Chinese Government’s aggressive program to establish a dominant electric vehicle sector. A large number of the business operating in the sector had no previous experience in producing cars, among them were IT and Social Media companies such as Tencent (Future Mobility and Tesla), Baidu / BitAuto (NextEV) and LeEco (Faraday Future). The Chinese authorities became concerned that the unregulated development of the sector could lead to an oversupply of vehicles as the total planned capacity from the 200 companies reached over 50 million units annually, ultimately negatively impacting the sustainability of its program. At the end of 2016, the government closed or fined various manufacturers who were caught taking advantage of the subsidies to promote the adoption of electric vehicles. Further measures to regulate the industry included:

  • creating a list of battery manufacturers that are allowed to operate and supply technology to its electric vehicle sector,
  • regulating which automakers are allowed to produce electric vehicles in China through the issue of production certificates by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), and
  • setting Electric Vehicle Management and Evaluation Rules through the Chinese Automotive Technology and Research Center.

 

Other adjustments were made to entry applications in the auto sector by requiring joint ventures with foreign automakers, such as Denza, to be approved by the investment department of the State Council, local manufacturers need approval from the relative provincial government. The State Council indicated that in principal new capacity to combustion plants should be capped effectively halting development of new combustion plants.

At the time of publication, only fourteen companies have so far received production certificates for new energy vehicles, the last being Guangdong GreenWheel Electric Vehicle Co. Ltd which received approval to develop a 50,000 unit plant in Mingcheng Industrial Park. Greenwheel indicated that the plant would be developed at a cost of $267 million ( RMB 1.783b ). To successfully apply for a production certificate, the applicant needs to convince the authorities that it can research and develop key technologies such as powertrains. The other companies with development certificates are BAIC BJEV, Changjiang EV, Qiantu Motor, Chery New Energy, Jiangsu Minan, Wanxiang Group (Karma Automotive), JMC EV, Chongqing Jinkang, NEVS, Yudo Auto, Know Beans, SD EV, and Hozon Auto.

Up to now Chinese auto manufacturers provided very sketchy specifications on the electric range of their models, mostly indicating how far the vehicle can travel at a constant speed of 60km/h. To protect and assist the consumer the Chinese Automotive Technology and Research Center for the first time introduced an EV Test through the issue of the Chinese First Electric Vehicle Management and Evaluation Rules. The first classification process should be completed in the second half of 2017. The classification would be done by a five-star rating focusing on the following key performance areas:

  • Power consumption,
  • Battery life,
  • Charging,
  • Safety, and
  • Performance.

The Chinese Government aggressive EV strategy targets the sale of 800,000 electric vehicles in 2017, increasing sales to two million units per annum by 2020. The top ten automakers, including FAW, Dongfeng Fengshen, Chana, SAIC, GAC Trumpchi, and Great Wall finalized production plans to produce over 4 million units by 2020 at a planned investment of $12 billion (RMB 80 billion ).

Interested in learning more about Chinese electric vehicles? Download our fun and easy app below, flick the China switch and swipe left the models you don’t like, right the ones you do, enter the chat rooms and share your thoughts with the community.

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Top 10 EV Countries Q1 EV sales – USA beats China

Top 10 EV Countries Q1 EV sales – USA beats China

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Now that all the Q1 data is in we can do a detailed dissection of the hottest quarter in EV history in which nearly 200,000 electric vehicles was sold. The headline data is that nearly 180,000 EVs were sold in the top 10 EV countries. Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV) wattev2buy top 10 ev countiresoutperformed Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV) by a long shot. A total of just over 106,000 BEVs were sold while only around 70,000 PHEVs moved off the dealership floor in the top 10 countries.

One of the standout data points is USA EV sales which overtook China as the best market for electric vehicles in Q1, making the USA the top EV country in Q1. The worst performer was The Netherlands, who fell out of the top 10. The Netherlands disappointing performance over the last couple of quarters does not bode well for the European country was seen, next to Norway, as one of the proponents of the technology. Only last year still did the Dutch Government contemplated a goal to be 100% electric by the middle of the next decade. It is unclear what caused the drop in EV sales in the Netherlands.

When comparing this quarter’s EV sales by country to their respective totals for 2016 one can see that the pace of EV sales picked up in most. If one should expect that by the end of Q1 EV sales should equate to roughly 25% of 2016, it is only China and The Netherlands that are underperforming. Chinese EV sales have lagged in January due to technical factors including a clampdown on EV subsidy fraud and the annual Chinese holiday, in which most industries shut down. Chinese EV sales have picked up the pace in the following months and the quarter still ended up 30% over the same period of the previous year. It can be concluded that EV sales for the first quarter in China are historically weak and Q1 2017’s performance is by now way an indication of a trend. Furthermore, the Chinese Government last week announced a plan to dominate the electric vehicle sector which should help the country to regain its stature. Japan, on the other hand, has picked up the strongest pace and has already achieved EV sales equal to 59% of its total 2016 sales. The Japanese EV market has the least variety of EV models available to consumers, and it is anticipated that the introduction of more models will stimulate the market further. Germany is the second best performer helped by a 77% improvement in EV sales on a year-to-year basis.

The top EV brand in the Top 10 EV Countries is Tesla for the second year running. Tesla announced in its April trading update that it sold just over 25,000 Models S and X globally. It is important to note that the figure repoQ1-2017-brands-wattev2buy-top-10-ev-countriesrted includes vehicles being shipped, while country sales data shows vehicles registered. Toyota is back in the Top 10 list of EV brands on the back of a well-received new Toyota Prius. Chevrolet did not shoot the lights out with its new mass-market EV, the Chevrolet Bolt / Opel Ampera-e. Most of GM’s sales came from the Chevrolet Volt PHEV. The company is criticized for producing a limited amount of the Bolt and is being labeled as a compliance company for that, a term used for auto manufacturers that only sell EVs in Zero Emission states to gain credits. The big losers included VW, BYD, and Mitsubishi. BYD has been the Top EV manufacturer for 2015 and 2016 globally and was at the number three position for most EVs sold since the start of the decade. Competition from the likes of BAIC and SAIC is the main reason for the companies bad performance. Up til 2016, BYD had the advantage of being first to market, but some new models that can compete on performance and quality with BYD entered the market since 2016. (This sentence could very well be used for Tesla in a couple of years). Mitsubishi fell a staggering ten places as the company has not updated its popular Outlander PHEV or introduced new models as a replacement.

The Top 10 EV models are still lead by the Nissan Leaf, a phenomenal performance by the 7-year-old EV. The Toyota Prius replaced the Tesla Model S in the top two while the Tesla Model X performed the best of the 2016 Top 10 cohort. Newcomers Chevrolet Bolt, BAIC E-180, and the Toyota Prius replaced the BYD e6, BYD Tang and Mitsubishi Outlander in the Top 10 EV models list for Q1.

Please use the comment section below to share your thoughts on the EV market.

 

Q1-2017-models-wattev2buy-top-10-ev-countries

Note on data: The detailed data above does not include the UK, who keeps their EV data more secret than Donald Trump does classified information.

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Be warned Big Auto, the China EV strategy is to dominate!

Be warned Big Auto, the China EV strategy is to dominate!

electric car information wattev2buy

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The Chinese Government released its long-term development plan for the automotive sector on the 25th of April 2017, setting out the China EV strategy. The plan, presented by the Ministries of Science and Technology and Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in conjunction with National Development and Reform Commission, sets out how the country will ramp up the local EV sector and dominate the world market.

If successful the Chinese auto sector can leapfrog the dominance of the big auto companies, such as Toyota, VWBMW, Daimler, Ford, and GM. Big Auto has missed the boat on electric vehicles and therefore continue to downplay the technology as only a niche sector. Management boards of big auto companies are flip-flopping strategy as they try and come to grips with how to enter the market and to what extent they should invest in research in technology. BMW last week announced that EVs constituted 3% of its total sales for the first quarter of 2017 after a jump in EV sales of 50% (Top 5 EV News Week 18). With the release of the data, the company set out how it will introduce more models. The news from BMW is in stark contrast from news only six months earlier when the Board grappled with if it should pursue EVs at all (Top 5 EV News Week 49 USA-Top-10-BEV-All-time wattev2buy2016). In the USA we have recently seen how newcomer Tesla is valued above Ford and GM by investors. The response by Big Auto and other detractors of EVs was that this is a temporary phenomenon, arguing that Tesla hardly produces one tenth of the vehicles any of the top brands does. If one look at total sales of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), it seems investors on the other hand value companies on their future ability to produce electric vehicles. If the same apply for Chinese brands, we can very quickly expect a Chinese brand to ascend the list of top auto brands.

 

According to the plan by the Chinese Government, it set a short-term target of EV sales of 2 million units locally by 2020 and at the same time elevate Chinese auto brands to be seen amongst the top ten electric vehicle brands globally. The medium term target is that EVs contribute 20% of the total annual fleet by 2025, which is a huge amount of cars. Measuring the movement in sales by brand in the table below we can already see the top Chinese EV brands, BAIC, SAIC, Geely Zhidou and JMC moving higher and two brands, BAIC and BYD in the top ten list for the first quarter 2017. Other evidence of Chinese companies investing heavily in the sector includes Chinese IT company, Tencent acquiring a significant stake in Tesla, sparking a rally in the stock.

china ev strategy

Measures by the Chinese Government to achieve the targets above include:

  • Financial and tax support for New Energy Vehicle (NEV) companies;
  • Making it easier for foreign companies to enter the Chinese market by improving foreign investment regulations and liberalizing the existing cap on foreign ownership stakes in joint venture enterprises;
  • Promoting R&D through incentives;
  • Subsidies to consumers through tax benefits;
  • The Chinese Government is further considering incentives for parts and components manufacturers, smart and connected cars and other fields that will help Chinese companies lead the future auto sector;
  • The Export-Import Bank of China will assist Chinese NEV companies to go global.

China already has experience of setting itself to dominate a sector and achieving set goals. Less than a decade ago the Chinese Government plotted to dominate the PV panel market and in the process brought down the price of energy production from renewables, killing some western PV manufacturers in coal plants in the process. Already we are seeing a deluge of battery cell plants being planned by the end of the decade in China. We can, therefore, expect the same domino effect as in the energy markets, taking out auto manufacturers that were slow to embrace electric vehicles.

Interested in learning more about Chinese electric vehicles? Download our fun and easy app below, flick the China switch and swipe left the models you don’t like, right the ones you do, enter the chat rooms and share your thoughts with the community.

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Q1 EV Sales China: Rise 30% year-on-year, but is it enough?

Q1 EV Sales China: Rise 30% year-on-year, but is it enough?

wattev2buy electric car myths debunked

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Q1 EV Sales China: Rise 30% year-on-year, but is it enough?

China, the world’s largest market for electric vehicles showed a rise in sales for the first quarter of 2017, improving on 2016 figures by 12,500 units. While March was a particularly good month, selling over 30,000 units, we wonder if the total sales of nearly 56,000 units in the first quarter will be enough for 2017 to beat the record of 350,000 set in 2016?

See our analysis of H1 2017 EV Sales in China for a more up to date take on the Chinese EV market

EV sales for 2017 kicked off rather poorly in January with a disappointingly low 7,000 units. The Chinese holiday season and the regulatory clampdown on the abuse of EV subsidies were blamed for the lackluster sales. Fortunately, sales improved as the following months saw a doubling each month on the previous, setting a very promising trend. Battery Electric Vehicles outsold Plug-In Hybrids by nearly five to one as over 44,000 BEV units were sold compared to only 9,000 PHEV models during the period.

New models were the top sellers, taking three of the top five positions in a country starved for cool looking EVs. Chinese consumers are used to being dished up a mix of inferior cars due to major international brands being forced to partner with local manufacturers. To protect their IP, the global brands produced older variants of their vehicles for the Chinese market. The situation has improved for the Chinese consumer as local producers such as BAIC, SAIC and BYD have started producing improved second generation EV models. The BAIC E180 and BAIC E260, taking the first and third positions for the quarter is a case in point of how the second generation electric vehicles are drawing more buyers to the sector.

2016’s darling, BYD is slipping in the rankings, the company, part-owned by Warren Buffet, which has been the best-selling electric vehicle brand in the world for 2015 and 2016 could only muster two-thirds of BAICs sales. More worrying for BYD is that it had five models in the market compared to BAICs three BEVs. Tesla had a respectable performance with the Model X selling 1,500 units, which is 13% of all Tesla Model X units sold internationally during Q1, accounting for 6% of the company’s total sales for the period.

In total Q1 2017 sales improved 30% on that of the same period in 2016, indicating that 2017 could even be a better year for electric vehicles, despite stricter regulation, proving that electric vehicles are entering the mainstream.

china-ev-sales-q1-2017 wattev2buy

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Tencent acquires a significant stake in Tesla

Tencent acquires a significant stake in Tesla

Tencent acquires a significant stake in Tesla. The large Chinese Internet company, with holdings in various electric vehicle companies, have acquired a significant stake in Tesla. The acquisition was made by accumulating stock over time. Tesla (TSLA) shares traded higher by around 2.2% at $276.25 in after-hour trades, bringing it closer again to the $280 all-time high resistance level.

Tencent is owned by the world’s 46th richest person, Ma Huateng of China, also know as Pony Ma. Tencent, which applications include the popular WeChat app, similar to WhatsApp, aims to leverage its tech experience in a world where connectivity and the Internet of Vehicles will drive the auto industry. The development of electric vehicle technology provides a perfect platform for tech and vehicles to meet. To this end, Tencent created a company Future Mobility and targeted an autonomous vehicle by 2020. Tencent is also a shareholder in NextEV. NextEV’s NIO brand unveiled its autonomous vision a couple of weeks back at an event in Austin Texas.

Interestingly enough, the result is that a South African company, Naspers, is now an indirect shareholder in Tesla, a company founded by native South African, Elon Musk. Naspers currently holds around a 34% shareholding in Tencent; the company made its investment in Tencent when it was a little-known start-up in 2001. At the time Naspers invested $34m for 46.5% in Tencent.

Read our related post on how disruption is drawing the world’s richest to the auto sector.

Faraday Future’s wheels are coming off

Faraday Future’s wheels are coming off

Faraday Future‘s wheels are coming off due to what its founder, Jia Yeutling, is calling a “big company disease,” being a cash crunch. LeEco, the Chinese equivalent of Netflix and parent company of two EV start-ups, Faraday Future in the USA and LeSee in China, is forced to sell its Silicon Valley property, earmarked for its US headquarters. The sale, reported by Reuters, to Chinese property developer, Genzon Group, will provide the company with $260 million much-needed cash.

LeEco, now known for overpromising and massively under delivering, claimed that its premium car, the Faraday Future FF91, is a “Tesla Killer.” LeEco unveiled the FF91 “Tesla Killer” at the 2017 CES in Las Vegas along with the LeSee concept electric vehicle. While the LeSee received acclaim the launch of the FF91, on the other hand, was a real doozie. Faraday Future quickly published a highly edited version of the launch on its website, but it was too late as real events quickly went viral. See the video at this link. LeEco has also partnered with Aston Martin on the RapidE, where it will help with the development of the zero emission technology.

Faraday Future, a contradiction in terms, is scaling back all its operations in the USA, with the headcount rumored to have halved over the last couple of months. The production facility in North Las Vegas has been scaled back significantly, and although ground-breaking started late 2016, it has just remained that, as no production facilities have been erected. The company could not even pay the $21 million deposit to Aecon despite being offered $300 million by the local authorities for building the assembly plant there. The new phased construction is in line with the company’s reduced model lineup down from 7 models to 2.

The 13-year-old LeEco is financially pressed on all fronts. Rumors have also been flying that it was exciting its India operations and shares in its flagship unit, Leshi Internet Information and Technology Corp Beijing lost 25% of its value in five months. LeEco, which products include consumer electronics and cellphones, such as the LePro phone were able to raise $2.2 billion from Sunac China Holdings, a property developer. The funds are however not earmarked for LeEco‘s electric car division.

Top 10 EV Markets: Is PHEV’s gaining market share?

Top 10 EV Markets: Is PHEV’s gaining market share?

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Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), also known as pure electric vehicles, has outsold plug-in hybrid electric vehicles since the start of the decade. Intuitively one would have thought that because of the high cost of battery cells at the onset of electric vehicles that Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV’s), such as the Toyota Prius, would have been the best first step to enter the market, which the company initially did until it abandoned the technology. Traditional auto manufacturers (Big Auto) in general did not take electric vehicles seriously, leaving the task to start-ups such as Tesla to develop solutions for the consumer. In the auto industry, it is easier for new entrants to enter with new technology than compete with Big Auto, churning out engines from plants which cost has already been recovered. Thus leaving Big Auto at a disadvantage as they have to invest in research and infrastructure, playing catch up with the disruption.

 

Top 10 EV Markets: Is PHEV gaining market share over BEV?

The big driver’s behind the performance of BEV’s has been:

  • Small vehicles such as the Nissan Leaf, which have accounted for over 10% of all electric vehicle sold and around 19% of all BEV’s sold;
  • China has been the best market for BEV’s. In 2016 the Top 10 BEV’s sold were more than all EV’s, BEV and PHEV combined, for the same period in the USA. Micro BEV’s or neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV’s) are the best sellers in the China, supported by a Government that wants to be the world leader in the new technology and combat pollution in its cities. Twenty percent of all EV’s sold in China comes from just five mini BEV’s, the BAIC 200EV, Kandi Panda, Zotye Cloud, Zotye E20 and Chery eQ.
  • Incentives and legislation such as the Zero Emission Vehicle Program in the USA to support the adoption of electric vehicles.

It is expected that the trend for BEV’s should remain favorable as technology and cost improvements and more automakers plan to bring BEVs to market by the end of the decade. Analyzing the Top 10 EV markets, which represent over 90% of all EVs sold, however, show the opposite. Surprisingly, at closer inspection, PHEV’s are gaining on BEV’s in the majority of the Top 10 EV markets. In our study below we compare the proportion of BEV’s to PHEV’s in the Top 10 EV markets by plotting all EV’s sold from the start of the decade to EV’s sold since 2016, when most automakers changed their electric vehicle strategies. (For more detail follow the links to the different countries for a complete breakdown of sales per model and year in that country).

Top 10 EV Markets: Is PHEV gaining market share over BEV?

Chinese BEV’s, not always the most beautiful looking cars, have performed very well since the start of the decade and even more so over our test period from 2016. There are only three PHEV’s of any value worth mentioning in China, namely the BYD Qin, BYD Tang and SAIC Roewe 550, which combined sales accounted for around 18% of all EV’s sold since the turn of the decade. 2016 for the first time saw larger sedans taking over from the micro BEV’s, with the BYD e6, BAIC EU260, and Geely Emgrand entering the Top 4 list in the country. It is clear that with aggressive government support sales for BEV’s are ever increasing in the world’s Top market for EVs.

Top 10 EV Markets: Is PHEV gaining market share over BEV?

The home of Tesla and compliance vehicles, the USA, is the second largest market for electric vehicles. Stripping out Tesla, which accounts for nearly 40% of all BEV’s sold in the country will provide a completely different picture than above, where the BEV and PHEV ratio mirrors a presidential race. Most Big Auto brands are represented in the country, and when we say country, we can be forgiven to say California, where it’s Air Resource Board developed the Zero Emission Vehicle Program, targeting 15% of all vehicles to be ZEV’s by 2025. The ZEV Program supports the adoption of BEV’s by forcing automakers to sell a certain percentage of Zero Emission Vehicles. The ZEV program has been adopted by nine other states, which in total account for around 30% of all new vehicle registrations in the USA. The result is that even automakers with no EV strategy, including Fiat Chrysler, are selling what is called “compliance vehicles,” being converted plug-in variants of existing models, such as the Fiat 500e and Chrysler Pacifica. GM has also been labeled a compliance company by some, even though it introduced the first mass-market EV, the Chevrolet Bolt. The argument against GM is that it only released the Bolt it the ZEV States while it produces an uninspiring amount of 30,000 vehicles. On the other hand, GM is supporting the fight against clean air regulations and Tesla‘s direct sales model, effectively trying to halt the progress in the EV sector.

Top 10 EV Markets: Is PHEV gaining market share over BEV?

Japan, the fourth largest of the Top 10 EV markets, with China, is one of the few countries in the Top 10 list where BEV’s are outselling PHEV’s. In the case of Japan BEV’s contributed to around 75% of all EV’s sold. The country is however not the best example of expanding BEV sales. Only three brands contribute to over 90% of the sales through four models, namely the Nissan Leaf (EV), Mitsubishi Outlander (PHEV), Mitsubishi i-Miev (EV), and Toyota Prius (PHEV), which production was halted in 2015 for re-release in 2017. No great analytical deduction can be made other than a 40% increase in Nissan Leaf sales and 50% drop in Mitsubishi Outlander sales in 2016 resulted in the shift in favor of BEV’s.

Top 10 EV Markets: Is PHEV gaining market share over BEV?The Netherlands is a big hope for the EV sector. The country targets an 100% electric fleet by 2025. However, the data don’t really show encouragement for zero emission vehicles in a country one would have guessed would be ideal for BEV’s due to the relatively short distances within its borders ( sorry if this does not sound very Euro-centric). BEV sales have stagnated since 2013 with the Nissan Leaf and Tesla making up most of the market. The EV’s sector is dominated by PHEV’s from Volkswagen, Audi (also VW), Volvo, BMW, and Mitsubishi. The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a big hit, cornering nearly 25% of the EV market in the Netherlands. The country also has the highest international sales of the Mercedes C350e, Volkswagen Passat GTE, Volvo XC90 T8 and V60 PHEV.

Top 10 EV Markets: Is PHEV gaining market share over BEV?In France, the home of Renault, Citroën, Bolloré, and Peugeot is number six on the list of the Top 10 EV Markets. Here, PHEV’s have gained slightly on BEV’s but are still only 20% of all EV’s sold, while EV’s represent 1.4% of all vehicles registered in 2016. The high percentage of BEV’s is a clear indication that French automakers were more progressive in accepting electric vehicles at the turn of the decade. France also has the highest number of commercial electric vehicles, just over 15% of all EV’s, with the Renault Kangoo being the delivery vehicle of choice. France also has one of the biggest range of EV models available to the consumer, with over 50 models recorded in its official sales data.

Top 10 EV Markets: Is PHEV gaining market share over BEV?

The UK market is much more excepting of PHEV’s with the trend increasing in the last year as more models are becoming available. The UK is another strong market for the Mitsubishi Outlander, where the Japanese vehicle represents nearly 30% of all EV’s sold. The world’s seventh biggest market for EV’s is also a great offset point for GermanyUK Sales for the BMW 330e is the highest in the world and sales for the Mercedes C350e is a couple of units short of the that of the Netherlands, which has the world’s most at 5,754 units. Publicly and reliable sales data for the UK is difficult to get hold of, with only the Top 5 models available up to December 2016, making a proper analysis difficult.

Top 10 EV Markets: Is PHEV gaining market share over BEV?

It would be surprising not to see PHEV’s beating BEV’s in the world’s 8th largest market for EV’s. Germany is home to BMW, Mercedes and VW, all brands that missed the boat on electric vehicles, now trying to catch a fast train on the back of PHEV’s. The three charts above clearly show how the release of plug-in hybrid variants of existing models since 2014 helped increase the sale of electric vehicles. Like in other European markets, the consumer is spoiled for choice in Germany.

Top 10 EV Markets: Is PHEV gaining market share over BEV?

Sweden, number nine on the list of the Top 10 EV Markets and the home of Volvo also shows a big affinity for PHEV’s. The Mitsubishi Outlander again has a significant portion of the EV market, with a 25% market share of all EV’s sold. There is a significant drop between the number eight position of the Top 10 EV Markets and that of the ninth, with a 50,000 unit drop from 80,000, leaving very little to write home about. None the less Sweden commands the fourth position on the list of EV’s as a percentage of total vehicle registrations, with 3.5% of all new vehicles registered to be an EV in 2016.

Top 10 EV Markets: Is PHEV gaining market share over BEV?

Canada in many ways mirrors the USA in trends, obviously at a much smaller scale. Just five models represent nearly 75% of all EV sales in the country, being the Chevrolet Volt, Tesla Model SNissan Leaf, Tesla Model X and the Smart ForTwo ED. The popularity of the Smart ForTwo makes it clear why Daimler decided to only sell electric versions of the micro car in the country.

Top 10 EV Markets: Is PHEV gaining market share over BEV?

Saving the best for last. Norway, the darling of the EV sector, number three on the list of Top 10 EV markets and number one the list of EV as a percentage of new vehicle registrations. The country is now officially a growth market, reaching the take-off point for the technology, and a clear example of our thesis that PHEV’s are gaining on BEV’s. EV sales in Norway as a percentage of the total fleet for the year 2016 was at a record 29.1%. The prospects for 2017 looks even better, as in January the percentage of EV’s registered achieved a record-breaking 37.5%. At the same time, PHEV’s outsold BEV’s for the first time. Looking deeper into the data and drilling down into the model mix two things are starting to emerge, namely:

  1. European automakers have finally caught on to the electric vehicle idea and since 2014 are bringing more models to market through the easy route of providing plug-in hybrid variants of existing models, which;
  2. Targets the early majority, those consumers that might still be skeptical on issues such as range and charging but not wanting to lose out thereby choosing the perceived “safety” of a PHEV.

We can expect this trend to continue until there is a wider choice of BEV models for the consumer and charging infrastructure expanded. Let’s hope that this trend is not just another way for Big Auto to hijack and derail the drive to zero emission vehicles. In the meantime we should be grateful, that although not hardcore, PHEV’s still introduce new drivers to the pleasure of driving in full electric mode, thereby making them want a BEV next time they buy.

Notes on the data used for the study:

  • BMW i3 data has been split 50/50 between PHEV and BE as we don’t have exact data for the sales of BMW i3 and BMW i3REx
  • 266,080 units, mostly from Chinese sales data (254,001 units) is undefined, due to the difficulty in getting complete data from the country has been excluded. If one should argue that they are all PHEV’s, BEV’s would still be higher in China and the World.
  • All the country data is complete until February 2017, except for the UK. Please comment if you have a good source for UK data.

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Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 22 2020

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 22 2020

TOP EV NEWS #1 – BUSY WEEK FOR VW EV STRATEGY It has been a busy week for the VW Group as it implements its EV strategy.In China, VW signed a letter of intent to expand its cooperation with and ownership of JAC (Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Co.) According to the...

China February EV Sales recovers from New Years slump

China February EV Sales recovers from New Years slump

China February EV Sales recovers from New Years slump

We all held our breath after the disappointing January EV’s sales from the world’s largest market in the sector. January sales were hit by a double whammy of the annual Chinese holiday season and a clamp down on subsidy fraud that plagued the Chinese EV sector, resulting in much stricter regulations by the Chinese Government.

February sales nearly tripled, with the new-comers the BAIC EC180 EV and SAIC Roewe eRX5 PHEV causing much of the stir. The SAIC Roewe SUV PHEV, introduced in the second half of 2016 is known as the Alibaba Connected Car, running Alibaba’s YunOS software, making the RX5 the world’s first internet car.

Small cars took the Top 4 positions for the month with the small hatchback BAIC EC180 outselling the rest by a long shot. The BAIC EC180, with a range of 180km at a top speed of 100km/h on a 41hp electric motor. BAIC remained the best performing brand for the year with total sales of over 5,000 units followed by SAIC Roewe.

BYD, China’s best-selling brand in 2016 with over 100,000 units from its five models, were the under performer with less than 2,500 units sold for the year-to-date. BYD is 10% owned by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway.

BEV’s outsold PHEV by 3-to-1. Total sales in 2016 were 351,861 units, setting a huge target for the world’s largest EV market. Judging from the first two months sales, it seems difficult to breach.

China EV Sales 2017 wattev2buy

Disruption draws world’s richest to the auto sector

Disruption draws world’s richest to the auto sector

The barriers to entry into auto manufacturing became ever higher over the last 100 years before the disruption caused by technological advances in electric vehicles and self-driving technology. Most of the auto brands that were around at the turn of the century have been around for 50 years or longer; the only newcomers was a spate of Chinese brands backed by the government. For an individual to reach the top 50 position on the Forbes list from vehicle manufacturing was only possible if your parents left you a trust fund with a bunch of 100-year-old stock in a big brand. In fact, the only Forbes Top 50 billionaire from the auto sector was the German’s, Herbert and Johanna Quandt who owned nearly 50% of BMW and Georg Schaeffler (Number 39 on Forbes 2016 list) who inherited the automotive parts company, Schaeffler Group. After their passing of Johanna Quandt, the children, Susanne Klatten (Number 38) and her brother Stefan Quandt (Number 48), became the beneficiaries. Mrs. Klatten invested her fortune in pharmaceuticals, helping her to gain over her brother.

Come to the turn of the century and along came Elon Musk, risking it all on a technology that has been shunned for 100 years by big auto. Being a start-up in a market controlled by a couple of dinosaurs was not easy at first, Mr. Musk had to back himself in the first couple of rounds of fundraising for the electric vehicle company, Tesla. The table below shows that Elon Musk pretty much up until late 2008 lead fundraising and loan rounds. The risk paid off as Elon Musk became by far the richest person in the US auto sector and at the time of going to press Elon Musk jumped to the 83rd position, up from 94 in the official 2016 Forbes list of the world’s richest people.

Source: Crunchbase
Date Amount $M Round Lead Investor Investors
May, 2016 1,460.0 Post Ipo Equity 5
Oct, 2012 10.0 Grant California Energy Commission 1
Nov, 2010 30.0 Post Ipo Equity Panasonic 1
May, 2010 50.0 Post Ipo Equity Toyota Motor Corporation 1
Sep, 2009 82.5 Series F Al Wahada Capital Investment 4
Jun, 2009 465.0 Debt Financing US Department of Energy 1
May, 2009 50.0 Series E Daimler 2
Nov, 2008 40.0 Debt Financing Elon Musk 5
May, 2008 40.2 Debt Financing Elon Musk 5
Feb, 2008 40.0 Series E Elon Musk 8
May, 2007 45.0 Series D Elon Musk, Technology Venture Partners US 10
May, 2006 40.0 Series C Elon Musk, VantagePoint Capital Partners 11
Feb, 2005 13.0 Series B Elon Musk, Valor Equity Partners 3
Apr, 2004 7.5 Series A Elon Musk 2

Other early billionaires in the technology include the savvy investor Warren Buffet and Vincent Bollore. Warren Buffet, the world’s 3rd richest individual through his Berkshire Hathaway, controlled company, Mid-American Energy Holdings in 2008 bought 10% in BYD, a Chinese battery company, now the world’s largest electric vehicle manufacturer. The Investment at the time was $230m. Berkshire Hathaway is also a significant minority shareholder in GM.

Vincent Bollore, France’s 10th-richest person with an estimated personal fortune of $6 billion dollars, started manufacturing batteries in his company Bollore Blue Solutions. The firm, situated in Brittany province, who’s batteries are cheaper than lithium-ion cells used in other electric cars, allows it to hold down the cost of his small vehicles.

Suddenly investing in electric vehicles became sexy. Chinese billionaires, mostly from the technology sector, were the first to climb into the auto sector, some more successful than others. The Chinese electric vehicle boom is fuelled by government incentives targeting that 8% of all new vehicles should be EV’s by 2018.

The tech billionaire and founder of BitAuto, an online vehicle sales platform, William Li started the Shanghai-based NextEV.  The company raised $500M of an expected $1Bln already, sporting shareholders such as Tencent, who is also invested in Future Mobility, Hillhouse Capital, who also invested in UBER,  Sequoia Capital and Joy Capital. The company invested C¥3Bln in Nanjing High-Performance Motor Plant to produce 280,000 electric vehicles per year. NextEv also signed a partnership with one of the largest Chinese auto companies, JAC Auto which will see them share technology, manufacturing, supply chain, marketing, and capital.

Tencent mentioned above is owned by the world’s 46th richest person, Ma Huateng of China, also know as Pony Ma. Tencent, which applications include the popular WeChat app, aims to leverage its tech experience in a world where connectivity and the Internet of Vehicles will drive the auto industry. The development of electric vehicle technology provides a perfect platform for tech and vehicles to meet. To this end, Tencent created a company Future Mobility and targeted an autonomous vehicle by 2020.

The Chinese billionaire, Jia Yueting, founder of LeEco which owns LeTV, the Netflix of China invested in two electric vehicle companies, LeEco, which developed the acclaimed LeSee concept vehicle and Faraday Future, developer of the disastrous FF91, unveiled at the 2017 CES. Both businesses are known for making bold statements and big ticket announcements just to be followed by press reports of cash flow and funding problems.

The Chinese internet giant, Alibaba, owned and founded by Jack Ma who is 33rd on the 2016 Forbes list, invested $160M in a fund where it partnered with SAIC, one of the largest Auto manufacturers in the China to develop internet connected cars. The first car to come from the partnership is the Roewe OS RX5, where OS stand for Operating System and using SAIC’s luxury brand Roewe as a platform. The software runs on Alibaba’s YunOS operating system. Jack Ma unveiled the car in July 2016. The Alibaba Connected Car will have its own Internet ID, not needing WiFi or GPS services, enabling it to connect and identify drivers wattev2buy alibaba os rx5 internet carthrough their smartphones and wearables. The RX5 has four cameras providing it 360° vision and is voice controlled. The vehicle’s starting price is around $15,000 or C¥100,000.

Alibaba beat other carmakers and tech companies to the finish line with the 2016 release of the RX5. In 2015 Toyota invested $1 billion in artificial intelligence research, while Apple invested $1 billion in Chinese ride-hailing app, Didi Chixing. BMW went into partnership with technology firms Mobileye and Intel, providing the automaker with operating systems and driving assistance software while Kia and Google partnered around the search engine’s Android Auto operating system.

Robin Li, number 90 on Forbes List and owner of Chinese search engine Baidu, partnered with chipmaker Nvidia in September 2016 to develop a computing platform for self-driving cars. Baidu recently received approval from the Californian Department of Motor Vehicles to test autonomous vehicles, in Googles back yard. Baidu also partnered with BMW on creating an autonomous car.

Now that the floodgates are open, billionaires from around the world are looking to enter the electric vehicle and self-driving sectors. The world’s fourth richest man, Carlos Slim of Mexico, announced this early this year that he would back the development of a Mexican-produced electric vehicle through his company, Giant Motors in a joint venture with Grupo Bimbo, the world’s largest bread maker. The strategy plays off in an environment where many US based automakers are contemplating bringing production back to the USA amidst President Trumps America First policy environment. Mr. Slim said the electric vehicle would be designed specifically for Mexican conditions.

Bloomberg reported that the JSW Group’s owner and Chairman and India’s 19th richest man, Sajjan Jindal, announced in Davos, Switzerland his intention to enter the Indian Electric Vehicle market by 2020. The metals tycoon expects the Indian government, like many other governments, will promote EVs once it’s more affordable. 

It is clear that some of these businessmen are purely opportunistic, targeting to profit from regulation and subsidies for the promotion of electric vehicles.The majority, however, leverages their passions to bring better and more advanced options to the consumer at a much faster pace than what big auto ever moved in the last 50 years.

Although not mutually inclusive to electric vehicles, self-driving cars, deployable on combustion vehicles also, will drive the second phase of disruption in the auto sector over the next ten years. Self-driving car’s poster child is Google, owned by the 12th and 13th richest individuals in the world, Larry Page, and Sergey Brin. The company started testing it’s quirky autonomous vehicle as far back as 2009. Google recently spun the project into a standalone brand, named Waymo, meaning “a new way forward.” The company aims to partner with vehicle manufacturers instead of developing its own car. The first of such efforts was the conversion of 100 Chrysler Pacifica’s Plug-in Hybrid vehicles. Google, in many’s eyes, has lost the lead to Tesla, who’s progression was much faster and already has active Level 2 autonomy available in its production vehicles.

It will be interesting to compare the Forbes list of wealthy individuals ten years from now to one at the start of the century; we expect much more fresh faces who made their money from disrupting the auto sector. As a footnote, the lesson learned time and time again by dinosaurs in an industry are that they become too big, arrogant and slow, creating opportunities for new hungry entrants.

Picture: Source www.technewstoday.com

China considers opening electric vehicle manufacturing to foreigners

In a bid to fast-track its electric vehicle strategy in an effort to curb pollution, the Chinese Government has called for comments on a proposal to invite foreign automakers to manufacture in the country. Current laws are designed to protect local manufacturers by forcing foreign companies to partner with the local automakers. The Chinese Government now propose to relax these conditions for new energy vehicles, providing the likes of Tesla an opportunity to produce locally and protecting their technology by not having to share it with a local partner.

Pictured is the Zinoro 1 EV, an example of how foreign manufacturers had to operate till now in China. The BWM Brilliance Joint Venture created the Zinoro premier car brand in 2013 to deepen the localization of BMW. Zinoro assembles its vehicles at the BMW Brilliance plant in Tiexi, near Shenyang in Liaoning Province north-east China. Many other manufacturers flooded the Chinese market with old technology to protect their intellectual property, hurting the consumer in the process, in a bid to just tow line in terms of government regulation.