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New Electric Vehicles Riding the Wave

Cheng Sun - 17/10/2018
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Just a few years ago, electric vehicles seemed to be just novelties. They were so fresh that they could be used by car-hailing APPs as marketing tools. Today, however, China has become the largest producer and market for electric vehicles.

In 2017, nearly 800,000 new energy vehicles were produced and sold. The market share was 2.7%, 0.9 percentage higher than 2016. Among new energy passenger vehicles, 478,000 all-electric passenger vehicles were produced and 468,000 were sold, respectively up 81.7% and 82.1% year on year. 114,000 plug-in hybrid passenger vehicles were produced and 111,000 were sold, respectively up 40.3% and 39.4%.

Will electric vehicles replace traditional vehicles as the mainstream in the future?

If so, at the current speed of social development, how many years will it take?

Some argue that electric vehicles are not the ultimate solution to replace fuel vehicles. It is an intermediate step in the transition to fuel cell vehicles. As to how long it will take, it’s difficult to say!

But in the process, electric vehicles will gradually become the mainstream. The time node is 2020!

On April 25, 2017, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the National Development and Reform Commission and the Ministry of Science and Technology jointly issued the “Medium and Long-Term Development Plan for the Automobile Industry”. The document points out the phased goal of China's new energy sector is to produce and sell 2 million new energy vehicles annually by 2020 and make new energy vehicles account for more than 20 % of automobile production and sales by 2025.

Under this plan, about 7 million new energy vehicles will be produced and sold in 2025. Statistics show that more than 28 million automobiles were produced and sold in 2016. It is estimated that the number will reach 30 million by 2020 and 35 million by 2025.

However, more than 280 companies have joined the new car-making forces. 6-7 of them have total financing exceeding 5 billion Yuan. How many of these 280 companies will survive by 2020? Some people say 10%. Some even think that only 1% of the new car-making forces will survive in 5 years. After BAIC BJEV got the National Development and Reform Commission’s approval for manufacturing new energy vehicles on March 16, 2016, 15+1 enterprises in total have received the same approval. What is the status quo of these companies today?

Enterprises that have received the National Development and Reform Commission’s approval for new energy projects:

Company Name Time of Receiving the Approval Product Lines
BAIC BJEV March 16, 2016 So far, 11 all-electric models have been launched, covering sedan and SUV from level-B to level-A00.
Changjiang EV May 17, 2016 On July 11, 2018, China Auto Rental subscribed for 9 billion shares in FDG Electric Vehicles Limited, adding up to 540 million HKD.
QIANTU Oct. 10, 2016 Its first product launched in the market: the all-electric sports car K50. The second and third products are currently under development.
Chery New Energy Oct. 27, 2016 4 models were planned in 2017: eQ1, Arrizo 5e, Tiggo 3Xe and the small electric SUV model eQ; it is expected the company will achieve the strategic goal of an annual capacity of 200,000 new energy vehicles by 2020.
MINAN Nov. 15, 2016 It’s expected that its first middle to high-end all-electric sports car will get off the production line in 2018. In the future, the company will gradually launch all-electric SUV products.
Wanxiang Group Dec. 15, 2016 In 2014, the group acquired American new energy vehicle company Fisker and renamed it Karma Automotive. In Sept. 2016, Karma Automotive launched its first plug-in hybrid sports car Revero. It’s expected its first domestic all-electric vehicle will be launched in the Chinese market in 2020.
JMEV Dec. 26, 2016 Two level-A00 models, E100 and E200, have been developed. Its first three-compartment all-electric sedan E160 was officially put into production on Jan. 16, 2017. In the future, 3 vehicle manufacturing platforms will be built; 20 models in 4 product lines will be launched; automated driving will be developed.
SOKON Jan. 10, 2017 No action has been taken in vehicle model planning.
NEVS Jan. 25, 2017

It first launched the all-electric model NEVS 9-3; then, four more models are planned: a mid-size SUV, a mid-size crossover SUV, a mid-size sports car and a compact SUV.

YUDO New Energy Automobile

Jan. 26, 2017 Its level-A0 all-electric SUV π1 has appeared on the market; its level-A0+ all-electric SUV π3 is expected to be launched in March 2018; a level-A SUV is scheduled to go on sale in 2019; a level-C SUV is planned for 2020. In the future, the company will launch an electric vehicle with a lightweight design and then launch its new products at the pace of one model a year.
ZHIDOU March 1, 2017 Models H1, D1, D2, D2S, D2, D3 have been launched; it’s developing the Z series at the same time; more than 80 employees of Zhidou Zhixin didn’t receive their salaries for three months; at the beginning of Aug., the withdrawal of its office in Beijing was announced at short notice.
SDEV March 28, 2017 Apart from the core components of electric cars, energy-saving devices and multiple fuel controllers, no plan for developing finished electric vehicles has been announced.

HOZON

April 19, 2017 In the first half of 2018, the brand strategy and product development plan of HOZON Auto will be officially released; in the middle of 2018, its first product will be officially mass produced.
GreenWheel EV May 18, 2017 Its current products are mainly new energy buses, cargo vans and low-speed electric vehicles.
JAC VOLKSWAGEN May 22, 2017 According to the plan of VOLKSWAGEN China, the first model developed by the partnership will be an all-electric SUV, which is scheduled to be officially launched in 2018.
Change Suzuki Jan. 4, 2018

Three new models in the Big Dipper series, i.e. Big Dipper E, Big Dipper X5E and Big Dipper NEV; two SUV models named H10HB and H40D-EV, the MPV named F425-EV

The new car-making forces usually invest tens of billions. However, since most products are not yet mass produced, financing naturally becomes a key factor for the survival and development of these new producers.

The distance from heaven to hell is a short one: this moment heaven, the next moment hell.

Even in the past year, more than 70 new energy vehicle projects have been announced by automobile groups or new forces across China. The total planned investment has reached more than 450 billion Yuan and the planned capacity has reached a staggering 11 million vehicles. That's nearly the number of cars sold annually in the entire European Union.

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Let’s count with our fingers. How many auto groups are there in Europe and the United States? That is the result of market choice after more than a century of development. China's civilian automobile market just appeared less than 30 years ago. With the rapid economic growth since the reform and opening-up, automobile companies are not competing for the existing market but for the potential market.

“Most of the products are not officially on the market. There are financing channels. We are almost burning (money) to go public. We must go ahead regardless the risks.” An insider of a new automobile company told the writer. Although the survival condition is worrying, they still must struggle. This may be the inner voice of most new car-making forces.

Consultant | Industrial & Automotive Recruitment
+86 21 2287 3159
csun@morganmckinley.com