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NEV industry needs upgrades

Source: auto.sohu.com | Date: Dec. 8

  • On Dec. 5, a symposium on China's new-energy vehicle (NEV) industry was held in Beijing. A number of industry analysts and company executives offered their insights about the industry's current situation and its prospect.

  • According to recent data compiled by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), China's NEV output in the first ten months of this year stood at 206,900 units, representing a surge of 300% from the same period last year. Production volume of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) for passenger and commercial purposes also grew rapidly in the ten-month period. The data indicates that China has surpassed the United States as the world's largest NEV market. Nevertheless, some industry experts pointed out that despite the country's booming NEV industry, there still exist a number of problems.

  • First, China's NEVs are not strongly competitive in terms of quality levels, although the country has produced a large number of NEVs in recent years.

  • Second, many companies's products are still based on their first-generation platforms, meaning that their quality and safety levels are either immature or underdeveloped. Also, their power cell technology is inferior to that of global leaders.

  • Third, the country's omnipresent regional protectionism is an obstacle to the industry's healthy development because it has given rise to unfair competition, protection of outdated facilities, and redundant construction.

  • Finally, there is a problem in which the government's incentive policies have been overused. For example, the rapid growth in NEV-based bus segment is not a structural change based on market demand, but a policy-driven result.

  • Based on the aforementioned insights, they suggested that automakers attach more importance to quality than quantity when developing NEVs. They noted that automakers cannot always rely on subsidies because the government's incentives would not last forever. They stressed that automakers need to step up their efforts in technological upgrades to cut costs and make high-quality NEVs. They also called for building an extensive network of infrastructure facilities such as charging stations or charging piles to make NEVs commercially viable.