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]

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Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 24 2017

Top 5 Electric Vehicle News Stories of Week 24 2017

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TOP EV NEWS #1 – NEW EVs ANNOUNCED

This week saw the announcement of four new EV models by AudiDS Auto, Tata Motors and Hyundai. The four brands will release electrified versions of existing model ranges as they rush to enter the market.

Audi announced its intentions to launch an electrified version of the Q2 SUV for the Chinese market. The Q2 will compete with the BMW Brilliance X1 which is also specifically produced for the Chinese EV market.

PSA Group’s luxury brand DS announced that it will release an all-electric vehicle or PHEV every year from 2019 starting with the DS7 Crossback. In other news, PSA Group and Changan deepened their relationship in China with the intent to jointly develop electric vehicles in a similar fashion as the VW JAC JV announced earlier this month.

Tata Motors will enter the India market with an electric version of the Tata Tiago hatchback. The Tiago will be Tata’s first production EV. In 2015 the market speculated that the Indian company was to bring the Tata Megapixel to market in 2016 as its first EV but market conditions did not favor EVs at the time. The Indian Government has since embarked on a drive to change to 100% EV in 2030.

Hyundai revealed its latest EV, an electric version of the Hyundai Kona SUV. The car is expected to reach the market late 2018 and will be unveiled at the Frankfort Auto Show in September 2017. Although no specifics has been revealed the Kona is expected to have a range of 217 miles from a 50kWh battery and will be priced below $40,000. In related news, the Korean company announced that it will increase production of the popular Hyundai Ioniq with 50%.

Honda announced that it will release the Honda Clarity Electric in Oregon and California later this year on a three-year lease for $269 per month.

TOP EV NEWS #2 – TESLA TALKS TO ENTER INDIA PROGRESSING

Tesla, now the 4th largest automaker in the world by market cap, has been in talks with the Indian Government to establish production facilities in the Asian country. Tesla CEO Elon Musk provided further incites in the company’s plans for entering the potential growth market by tweeting  “In discussions with the government of India requesting temporary relief on import penalties/restrictions until a local factory is built.”

Tesla shares this week reached our target of $380 as per my forecast in Week 20, I hope you took advantage of the opportunity.

TOP EV NEWS #3 – CHINA NOT RELAXING EV REQUIREMENTS

In Week 22 we reported on concessions agreed between the German Chancellor and Chinese Premier to delay strict ZEV type mandates to allow German automakers some breathing space. This week the Chinese Legislative Affairs Office published draft legislation ignoring the concessions. The proposed legislation will require automakers to sell new energy vehicles equivalent to 8% of total sales in2018, increasing by 2% annually to reach 12% by 2020. Chinese lawmakers and the Calfornia Resource Board met in China last week to expand cooperation on accelerating the deployment of zero-emission vehicles. The delegation also included officials from Chinese vehicle and battery manufacturers such as BYD, BAIC, Great Wall, Geely, Dongfeng, Yangtze Motors and a half dozen other vehicle and battery companies.

TOP EV NEWS #4 – SALES UPDATE: GERMANY & CHINA

EV sales data for May 2017 published this week included data for Germany and China. I will do a complete breakdown of the sales again next month when June figures will allow me to do a deep dive at the halfway mark for the year. Headline data from Germany and China are as follows:

Germany: EV Sales keep powering ahead EV sales now nearly double that of the same period 2016. Total sales for the year to date stands at just over 17,000 units compared to 8,800 at May 2016. May 2017 EV sales in Germany was nearly treble that of May 2016 as  3,754 EV were added to the fleet compared to only 1,392 units in May 2016.

China: Chinese EV sales are recovering at a decent pace. EV sales in May showed a continuation of the trend started in March 2017. Chinese EV sales are now more than 50% higher than the same period a year ago. May EV sales of over 40,000 units bring the year-to-date sales to 134,000 units. Smaller cars like the Zhidou D2 and BAIC E180 still rules the roost. The new Chery eQ1 has also made the Top 20 list for the month.

TOP EV NEWS #5 – GM PRODUCES AUTONOMOUS BOLT EV

GM announced this week that it completed the equipment of 130 Chevrolet Bolt EVs with its next generation of self-driving technology. The vehicles will be added to its fleet of 50 current generation Bolt EVs testing the autonomous technology on public roads in San Francisco Scottsdale and Detroit. The company reported that the new generation technology features GM’s latest array of equipment, including LIDAR, cameras, sensors and other hardware designed to accelerate development of a safe and reliable fully autonomous vehicle.

GM-Bolt-Autonomous

In related news the California DMV permitted self-driving truck start-up, TuSimple, to test its artificial intelligence (AI)-based Level 4 autonomous driving system on 420-miles of public roads from San Diego to Tucson in Arizona.

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