China's new energy vehicles worry


In October 2008, the Shenzhen Hi-tech Fair released the scene. The BYD F3DM hybrid car attracted many attention, but so far F3DM has not yet achieved mass production. New energy vehicles are still far away from ordinary Chinese consumers.

The competition among Chinese companies in new energy vehicles is far from imaginative, even for electric vehicles that have always been considered to have advantages. Whether it is the government or new energy automobile companies, they must quickly accelerate.

Imagine: You drive a brand new hybrid car in the city, and a BMW with a "window of novice" on the rear window has sharpened in front of you for 5 minutes. "Squash", you muttered a sentence, then press the green button in front of the shift speed, the power mode is adjusted from pure electric to the internal combustion engine and the motor drive together, horsepower suddenly increased, you easily overtaking - cool!

This scene is only an imagination. However, the mechanical madmen all over the world are competing on the race track of new energy vehicles - dominated by hybrid power and pure electric power - and the dream may not be very far away.

Among the racers, the Chinese are very eye-catching, especially the BYD Co., Ltd., which is headquartered in Shenzhen and is a new arm of the automotive industry favored by Buffett. It is generally believed that the lead in battery technology will make this private company listed in Hong Kong become the world leader in the electric vehicle industry.

However, what is embarrassing is that Chinese racers are actually far behind the Japanese and the Americans. If they do not want to miss the opportunity, they must put in more determination and energy, and they must speed up.

Domestic new energy vehicles have not become a climate

BYD released the plug-in hybrid F3DM in October last year, and set the time for sale to the end of 2008. The car is equipped with two power systems: an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. The electric motor is driven by a lithium iron phosphate battery and can be charged with a household power supply. Under full energy, it can drive the car alone for 100 kilometers.

BYD said that the current global master dual-mode hybrid electric technology manufacturers only GM, Toyota, BYD three, but GM and Toyota's electric vehicles can only travel 25 kilometers on a charge, and must rely on professional charging station charging.

So far, BYD only sold no more than 40 F3DMs, and individual users could not book this car in BYD's 4S store. In other words, BYD failed to achieve mass production of F3DM in the real sense. At present, only a few F3DMs are parked on the square of the BYD headquarters building in Shenzhena€?s Pingshan, where visitors can experience the joy of pressing the green button to switch power modes.

BYD said that from September to October this year, F3DM will be sold to ordinary consumers.

As another pioneer of new energy vehicles, the research and development of hybrid vehicles of the Chongqing Changan Automobile Co., Ltd. with military background was included in the "863" project in 2001. One was proposed in March 1986 and was heavily funded by the Central Government. High-tech development plan.

In June 2009, Changan announced the launch of the production of medium-sized hybrid Jeffrey, which will be sold to both group consumers and individual consumers.

Jie Xun is equipped with a Ni-MH battery and motor drive system. When the car is accelerating, the motor assists the internal combustion engine in assisting the engine. When braking, the energy is converted into electrical energy and recovered into the battery. This can achieve a fuel saving function of 20%. Jie Xun cannot be plugged in like the F3DM, nor can it be driven solely by pure electric power.

So far, this Jie Xun sold only 20 vehicles, which were sold to government departments in Beijing and Chongqing respectively. The first mass production vehicle will not be able to go offline until the end of August, only 30 vehicles. Individual consumers cannot book this car even if they are located in Chongqing, where Changan Automobilea€?s headquarters is located.

Other Chinese new energy vehicle manufacturers' product sales are also in the range of dozens of vehicles, and the total number is less than 1,000 vehicles. As early as 1997, Japana€?s Toyota Motor Corporation launched the first year of the Prius Hybrid, and its sales volume reached 180,000. The Prius is a representative of a strong hybrid vehicle that can achieve 40% fuel economy.

In 2008, the sales of hybrid vehicles in the United States reached 314,000.

Battery technology does not break, saying nothing

a€?The era of electric vehicles is still far away.a€? Outside the BYD Pingshan Plant in Shenzhen, Mr. Wang, who is a technician in the automotive business division, shook his head and said that many of BYDa€?s internal technical personnel responsible for the automotive business had expressed the same attitude. In fact, even the public relations staff of BYD Autos are very fond of new energy vehicles, but they responded by saying that a€?new energy does not want to promote too much in this areaa€?.

There are many reasons for optimism: F3DM sells at a price higher than the equivalent of nearly 70,000 yuan for fuel vehicles. The infrastructure network for slow charging piles or fast charging stations required by F3DM has not yet begun. F3DM also takes 15 minutes at the fastest. It takes a lot of electricity to be charged. It is inconvenient. "The most fundamental thing is that there is no breakthrough in the bottleneck of the power battery." Ren Yong, deputy general manager and senior engineer of Chang'an New Energy Automotive Co., Ltd. told the Southern Weekend reporter: "The construction of infrastructure is money, not a big problem. Why not build it now? Because everyone thinks that if no one uses it, it is wasted. Why do you worry about nobody using it? Because the product is not easy to use. Why is the product not usable? That is, there is no breakthrough in battery technology. The bottleneck of the development of electric vehicles is the battery."

For a new energy vehicle, the battery is equivalent to the fuel vehicle's engine, and its performance determines its mileage, power performance and so on. In the 1970s and 1980s, two energy crises once set off the climax of new energy vehicles. However, because only lead-acid batteries are available, the performance cannot meet the needs. After 1997, the research and development of new energy vehicles in various countries is in a state of stagnation. Until the invented and used lithium ion batteries in recent years.

Although BYD said that it had obtained a patent for the application of lithium iron phosphate, the field of lithium iron phosphate batteries (iron batteries that are widely reported in the media) remains a problem.

The first is the conductivity, which is the bottleneck of the charging time. The fastest charging time of BYD's dual-mode car is 15 minutes. The reason lies in the raw material of lithium iron phosphate battery. The lithium iron phosphate battery's anode uses lithium iron phosphate powder. The iron element has poor conductivity, so it must be charged and discharged at high voltage. , And if you want to be faster, you can only rely on more advanced processes and production. The American A123 company broke through this bottleneck, but our country's ordinary production can only reach 2-6 microns, and they can make lithium iron phosphate particles into nanometer size, that is, 0.0002 microns, which can achieve very fast charging . But the price is extremely expensive.

Followed by the stability of the battery. On the one hand, it is difficult to guarantee the stability of the lithium iron phosphate battery cathode material, such as this batch to make a good performance, but the next batch is not good, this batch of particles is very small, the next batch is very large, so that the battery Stability poses a challenge.

On the other hand, it is the stability of the lithium iron phosphate battery. BYD's lithium iron phosphate battery is composed of hundreds of lithium iron phosphate battery cells. Due to the battery voltage drop during use, 100 series batteries, if one or two of them The magnitude of battery voltage drop is inconsistent with other batteries and affects the entire battery pack. This requires that these 100 batteries must be highly precise, and the pressure drop must be highly uniform. This places high demands on the degree of automation of battery production. Chinese enterprises a€?start relatively late and have few automated productions and are currently further improving. Ability." Ren Yong said.

In his view, the real commercialization of China's new energy vehicles is estimated to be around 2015. "As long as the battery technology breaks, electric vehicles will develop by leaps and bounds." Ren Yong said.

With new homes, but the family is too thin

Since Buffett announced that he had bought shares in BYD in September last year, the stock of the Hong Kong-listed company has been rising all the way. It has been widely sought after by investors and has once exceeded 50 Hong Kong dollars, and is still above 40 Hong Kong dollars.

BYD founder and chairman Wang Chuanfu once remarked that in 2015 will become China's first car company. But this 2008 fuel vehicle manufacturer whose auto revenue was only about 9 billion yuan was less than half of the auto sales revenue of private-owned Geely autos and Anhui's Chery Automobile in 2008, and it was 100 billion yuan in sales revenue from FAW and Dongfeng. The four major "groups" are far apart. In the next six years, if Wang Chuanfu wants to achieve the first Chinese rhetoric, he cannot but rely on new energy vehicles.

Currently, BYD remains the most promising new energy car player in China. Although there is still a breakthrough in battery technology, the pace of BYD's efforts has often caused the world to see the pace of its efforts. In February 2006, BYD signed a contract with Fosugu.com, and both parties jointly invested USD 2.81 million to establish Foshan Jinhui Gaoke Optoelectronics Materials Co., Ltd. to produce separators for lithium-ion batteries. Before this kind of separator, China relied heavily on imports to account for the cost of lithium batteries. With 20% of this, BYD has greatly increased its points in reducing costs.

BYD is also a company with the capability of both vehicle and battery integration in China and strong ability to integrate core components. In October 2008, BYD acquired Zhong Lai Integrated Circuit (Ningbo) Co., Ltd. for RMB 170 million, thereby strengthening its R&D and production capabilities. In the automatic production of batteries, BYD is working hard to improve and a new automated battery production line can already enter production. Recently, BYD's battery production base covering more than 1.3 million square meters was built in Huizhou, Guangdong, and Lithium iron phosphate is theoretically available. The large-scale production capacity of batteries is also of great significance for the future mass production of electric vehicles. This kind of integration of core components has made domestic and even foreign rivals in new energy vehicles unmatched.

However, BYD cannot avoid the disadvantages in the competition. These disadvantages to some extent represent the weakness of the entire new energy vehicle in China.

The first is the disadvantage of the vehicle's industrial capacity. China's vehicle industry capacity and foreign car manufacturers have decades of gaps, which will inevitably affect the development of new energy vehicles.

Song Jian, executive deputy dean of the Tsinghua Automotive Engineering Development Research Institute, cited the example of an automatic transmission. There are few companies in China that can produce automatic transmissions, and they have to rely on imports. The oil-point hybrid vehicles in new energy vehicles cannot separate from automatic transmissions. This core component, BYD can only be purchased through outsourcing.

In addition, it is also crucial to produce a stable vehicle. BYD's auto production line still implements Wang Chuanfu's consistent thinking. It replaces machine automation by manual dismantling (that is, it splits the steps of the automated machine and replaces it manually with production). BYD's engine production line passes the splitting method of Wang Chuanfu and can even reduce it. Ten times the cost, in the equipment and advanced level of the automobile production line, BYD and FAW Volkswagen and other joint venture brands are far from one another, which often results in product quality and performance instability. In fact, compared to the products of joint venture brands, Chinese auto brands have problems with many products, high repair rates, and many complaints.

In comparison, Toyota's Prius hybrid vehicle has matured over the past 10 years. Nissan, Mitsubishi, Honda, and General Motors are all stepping up their respective new energy vehicles to face strong competitors and China's entire vehicle industry capacity. The instability of product performance caused by defects will inevitably affect the competitiveness of enterprises in the future of new energy vehicles.

With government support, the shot is quick

With the promotion of electric vehicles, government forces are of utmost importance. Support from governments around the world for new energy vehicles such as taxes, subsidies, and charging networks directly determines the development of local new energy vehicles.

On August 5, 2009, the General Office of the Shenzhen Municipal Government sent a document to the Shenzhen Municipal Planning Bureau, the Communications Bureau, the National Development and Reform Commission, and the Municipal Government Procurement Center. The content was a summary of the meeting of the Mayor Wang Rongdai to BYD. In the minutes, the Shenzhen municipal government gave encouragement to BYD and promised to provide support for BYD's industrial land construction. In addition, it promised to lease 30 BYD vehicles as government official vehicles.

In Chongqing, the government of Changa€?an Automobilea€?s Jie Xun brand promised to be much more affordable: the purchase of new energy vehicles, the central government subsidy of 35,000 yuan each Jie Xun, but only limited to the group users purchase. In response to this, the Chongqing Municipal Government promised that individual consumers in Chongqing would purchase Jiexun, which would be paid by the local government and also be given a subsidy of 36,000 yuan. In addition, the three-year road and bridge fee will be exempted, and the total amount will reach 6,900 yuan.

From a worldwide perspective, government support received by China's new energy vehicle companies is still unable to compete with the US, Japan and Europe.

From 2001, China began to organize research and development of new energy vehicles through the National 863 Program and invested nearly 2 billion yuan. However, until 2008-2009, new energy vehicles really caught the attention of the government, enterprises, and society. In January 2009, the automobile industry adjustment and revitalization plan was announced. The central government allocated subsidies to support the demonstration and promotion of energy-saving and new energy vehicles. Afterwards, the central government issued the a€?Circular on Launching Pilot Work for Demonstration and Promotion of Energy-Saving and New Energy Vehiclesa€? to identify 13 pilot cities, mainly promoting public pilot projects in such public service areas as public transportation, rental, public service, sanitation, and postal services. In February 2009, the Ministry of Finance issued the Interim Measures for the Administration of Financial Support for the Promotion of Energy Saving and New Energy Vehicles for Demonstration and Promotion. It is clearly stated that based on the difference in blending intensity, different levels of subsidies are provided to group users to purchase new energy vehicles.

In contrast, in the economic stimulus plan signed by the President of the United States in March 2008, government funding for the development, production, and consumption of electric vehicles was as high as US$14.1 billion; in February 2009, the Obama Administration further allocated US$2 billion to support insertion. Hybrid R&D.

The more noteworthy action is that in August 2009, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it would spend US$2.4 billion to invest in research into automotive power batteries, and made detailed explanations on the list, methods, and steps for supporting companies. And the open rules. In fact, the hybrid vehicle technology, the United States does not lag behind, on the contrary has also been in a dominant position, from the 1997-2004 hybrid cars in major producing countries to apply for patents, the United States accounted for 204, Japan is 173 a total of 574.

In Japan, electric cars were officially included in national projects since 1965 and electric vehicles were developed. In 1967, Japan established the Electric Vehicle Association to promote the development of electric vehicles. In 1971, the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry formulated the "Development Plan for Electric Vehicles." In 1991, Japana€?s Ministry of International Trade and Industry formulated the a€?3rd Electric Vehicle Popularization Plana€?, proposing that by the year 2000, the annual output of Japana€?s electric vehicles will reach 100,000 and the number of vehicles will reach 200,000.

In addition, the United States, Japan, and Europe have corresponding preferential policies for ordinary consumers such as car purchase subsidies and tax cuts. Some governments have also begun to make big money to build a network of charging stations.

In contrast, China's support for new energy vehicles is still limited to supporting automotive companies. There are no systematic plans and actions for the consumption and crucial car battery production and R&D. Ren Yong believes that competition in the field of new energy vehicles, due to the poor foundation of Chinese companies, "is likely to go further behind, the greater the gap with foreign countries," "We must stride forward to narrow this gap."


View related topics: New energy vehicles: The magic weapon to deal with energy crisis


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