CATARC report - September 2014: New Energy Vehicle trends in China

Passenger EV production in August decreases; SAIC resumes production of FCVs for road tests


Production volumes in China (Summary)

This report is based on a report by Beijing CATARC Automotive Technology Development Company*;
MarkLines has edited and translated the company's report to prepare this report. Click here for a list of CATARC reports.

Fig. 1 Production volume of electrified vehicles by vehicle type
(January to August 2014)

  Production volume of electrified vehicles in China exceeded 7,000 units in June 2014; however, it consecutively declined in July and August. Production volume decreased by 11.3% month-over-month (m/m) to 6,175 units in August. As for the breakdown, production volume of hybrid vehicles (HV) was 603 units and production volume of electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHV) was 5,572 units. Production volume of PHVs increased by over 30% m/m; however, production volume of EVs decreased by over 30%. Looking at the production volume by vehicle type in August, production volume of passenger cars was 4,923 units with a market share of 79.7%, production volume of buses was 1,030 units with a share of 16.7%, and production volume of specialty vehicles was 222 units with a 2.6% share. Looking at the production volume for the January to August 2014 period, the electrified vehicle market share for passenger EVs and passenger PHV accounted for approximately 70%.

Production volumes in China

Passenger EV

 Production volume of passenger EV decreased by over 30% m/m to 2,726 units in August 2014. The main factor for the decrease in production was because consumers refrained from purchasing the vehicles in July and August due to the acquisition tax exemption policy for new energy vehicles that was planned for implementation in September. Kandi’s K10 had the highest production volume consecutively in July and August. The K10’s production volume for the January to August 2014 period was close to 9,000 units.

  Looking by cruising range, passenger EV with a cruising range of 150 to 200 km had the highest number of models and production volume (refer to Table 1). The major models in this category are Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Co., Ltd.’s E150, BMW Brilliance Automotive Ltd.’s Zinoro 1E, Venucia’s e30, and Jianghuai Automobile’s iEV4, and they are mainly used for taxis and individual uses. In the future, it is believed that sales competition will intensify for passenger EV with a cruising range of 150 to 200 km. Passenger EV with a cruising range of 80 to 100 km, of which many are low cost, had the next highest share. There are only a few passenger EV models with a cruising range of over 200 km and the sales price of these vehicles are high; therefore, consumer demand is low and they are mainly used for taxis. The Denza, which is being sold by a joint-venture company between BYD Auto Co., Ltd. (BYD) and Daimler, has a cruising range of over 200 km; however, the company plans on expanding sales of the model to individuals.

Cruising range (km) Production volume in Jul. (units) Share (%) Production volume in Aug. (units) Share (%) Main use
Over 300 79 1.96 29 1.06 Taxi
short-distance bus
200 - 300 1 0.02 0 0 Individual use
150 - 200 2,670 66.2 2,041 74.9 Taxi
Individual use
100 - 150 104 2.6 13 0.48 Individual use
80 - 100 1,181 29.3 643 23.59 Individual use

Table 1 Production volume and share of passenger EV by cruising range (July and August 2014)

Passenger PHV

 Of the passenger PHV production, BYD’s Qin had the highest production. Since the launch of the Qin in 2013, the number of orders for the model has been expanding. The acquisition tax exemption policy for new energy vehicles that was to be implemented in September 2014 has helped expand the production of the Qin. The monthly production capacity of BYD’s Qin had expanded by 40% to 1,400 units.

Passenger HV

 Japanese joint-venture automakers are dominating the production of passenger HV. Chinese automakers are hardly producing any passenger HV because these vehicles are not subject to subsidies. However, Chinese automakers are expanding the production of models that come with a low-cost start-stop technology as standard feature to meet the fuel efficiency regulations for passenger cars. Therefore, the possibility that Chinese automakers will expand the production of mild HVs and full HVs are extremely low.

EV bus

 Production volume of EV buses decreased by 33% m/m to 167 units in August 2014. Twenty-one EV bus models were produced in August and nine of them were produced by BYD. In addition, of the 21 EV bus models, 17 models had a cruising range of over 150 km. EV buses are mainly used as city buses. According to the road tests for city buses that were conducted over the past five years, utilization fell when the cruising range was short and the operational efficiency deteriorated, which were seen as problems.

PHV bus

 Production volume of PHV buses was 863 units with an increase by over 30% m/m in August 2014. Looking at the production volume by bus maker, the top three bus makers with the highest total production volume for the January to August 2014 period were Yutong, King Long, and Zhongtong Bus. These three bus makers’ share for PHV buses accounted for 62%.

Electrified vehicle import

 Seven automakers imported 17 passenger HV models. The number of vehicles that were imported in August 2014 was 1,801 units. The number of imports declined in two consecutive months and fell below 2,000 units. Tesla Motors’ Model S is the only passenger EV that was imported in August 2014. The number of vehicles that were imported was 435 units, which made the total number of imports (up to August 2014) to become 2,288 units. Because the number of orders in China for the Model S exceeded 6,000 units, the Model S is in a state where its number of imports has not caught up with its number of orders. On the other hand, BMW’s i3 was not imported to China in August 2014.


Fig. 2 Production volume of passenger PHVs and BYD's Qin (January to August 2014)

Fig. 3 Production volume of HV, PHV, and EV buses
(January to August 2014)

Trends in China

Road tests for fuel cell vehicles (FCV) resume in China

 Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) started conducting road tests for FCVs on September 3, 2014. Road tests, using three passenger FCVs, are being conducted on two routes: Shanghai to Beijing and Hangzhou to Chengdu. These road tests, using FCVs, are being conducted for the first time since the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and 2010 Shanghai World Expo. SAIC’s Deputy General Manager of the New Energy Vehicle Division, Chendong Huang, revealed that SAIC will introduce 80 FCVs, which are based on Roewe’s 750, in four cities in China (Beijing, Shanghai, Dalian, and Foshan) in 2015.

Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics develops 15 Ah lithium-sulfur batteries with energy density of more than 430 Wh/kg

 In August 2014, Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics (DICP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) announced that it succeeded in the development of lithium-sulfur batteries with a rating capacity of 15 Ah as its rechargeable lithium-ion batteries with high-energy density, and built a small production system. According to the test results, the energy density of the batteries was more than 430 Wh/kg. Until August 2014, lithium-sulfur batteries that were developed by Sion Power had the highest density; however, the density of lithium-sulfur batteries that were developed by DICP, CAS has exceeded that of Sion Power’s.

 Lithium-sulfur batteries were being developed as batteries for new energy vehicles. These batteries are low cost, recyclable, high density, and rechargeable. Currently, the energy-density technology level (outside of China) for lithium-sulfur batteries is approximately 350 Wh/kg. By 2016, Sion Power plans on expanding the energy density of lithium-sulfur batteries to 400 to 600 Wh/kg and expanding the cruising range of new energy vehicles, which adopts these batteries, to more than 500 km.

Beijing City introduces an additional 500 EV taxis and constructs fast-charging stations in 1,000 locations

 The Beijing municipal government revealed its plan to introduce an additional 1,300 EV taxis in 2014. The government will be expanding the charging facilities and building charging infrastructures for EV taxis in rural areas. By the end of 2014, fast-charging stations will be installed in 1,000 locations and fast-charging networks will be built within the Fifth Ring Road in Beijing City.

Construction of Tianjin's first charging facility for new energy vehicles begins

 In August 2014, the Tianjin government began the construction of Tianjin’s first charging facility for new energy vehicles in Binhai New Area, Tianjin. It is expected that the construction of the charging facility will be completed by the end of 2014. When the construction of the charging facility is completed, the charging facility will be able to charge 72 city buses and 84 passenger EVs per day. The charging facility is located at the entrance of the Beijing-Tianjin Expressway. The charging facility has a site area of 2,683 square meters and a power capacity of 3,760 kVA.

BYD unveils full lineup of new energy vehicles

 At the shareholder meeting, BYD’s president, Chuanfu Wang, announced, “BYD will provide complete urban-electric solutions.” In addition to the new energy city buses and taxis, which have already been introduced, BYD will be introducing new energy vehicles of various areas, such as long-distance buses, trucks, and specialty vehicles. Sales volume of new energy vehicles for the January to May 2014 period exceeded 6,000 units of which the number of orders for buses was approximately 5,000 units. President Wang expects that 4,000 new energy buses will be shipped within 2014 and new energy vehicle shipment in 2014 will exceed 10,000 units.

New energy vehicle sales in Shanghai City for the January to June 2014 period exceeds 1,000 units

 The Shanghai government announced that new energy vehicle sales in Shanghai for the January to June 2014 period exceeded 1,000 units and greatly outnumbered the 581 units for the fiscal year 2013.

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