On October 17, hosted by CCPIT-Automotive Committee and co-organized by the “Automotive Observer” magazine, the “2014 (fifth) Global Automotive Forum” ushered in its second day’s agenda. On “Environment, energy-saving and new energy vehicles” plenary session, attendees believed that with the growth in the number of vehicles and the increasingly tight energy supply in China, environmental issues become significantly prominent. Urban traffic congestion is being severe while air quality continues to decline with huge dependence on imported fuel. China’s automobile industry must bear the responsibility to this end and seek methods to resolve these problems.
Guests from business, government and the media argued the issue from different levels to explore new energy vehicle development urgency, the development of future technology roadmap, as well as research and promotion patterns. They believe that the pure electric and extended range electric vehicles as representatives of the new energy vehicles are the best solutions to deal with energy supply and environmental problems at this stage. In terms of China, the country with urgent demand of new energy vehicles, the mode “start from the public transportation” is worth of global learning, and promoting from government forces in the subsequent development of new energy vehicles will also be indispensable.
Wang: “pursuing new energy vehicle should start with public transportation”
The development of new energy vehicles is our national strategy, Wang Chuanfu; President of BYD explained the necessity of promoting new energy vehicles at current stage from another point of view. He quoted the words of former US President Bill Clinton: If each person in China owns a car, there are 1.3 billion Chinese who have cars, the Earth will not agree, because there is not enough fuel.
In Wang’s view, there are three “anxious” behind for China to develop new energy vehicles. “China’s development of new energy vehicles is in the urgency, it is more than any other country in the world, for example, the purpose of developing electric vehicles in Europe is to reduce emissions, but the crucial point for China is to conserve energy security. Despite the restriction imposed for car purchase, the growth rate is still very high.” As Wang introduced, China’s dependence on imported fuel are nearly 60 percent, while 60% of which are imported from the South China Sea; among them, 60% of fuel are used for transportation. Through the three “60%”, we can see the urgency of the security issue; the second” anxious ” is the environmental problem, exhaust and air quality, which have become intolerable during the past two years; the changes of upgrades in the automotive industry has brought great pressure to the Chinese autos that becomes the third “anxious”, from the recent publication by the State Council, “speed up the development of new energy guidance 30″, “What we see is the world’s most comprehensive policy, I think we as one of Chinese enterprises feel very happy.” said by Wang.
Turning to the development of new energy vehicles in China, “start from the public transportation” is considered to be an important means to promote the new energy vehicles, said by Wang. “Construct charging piles for private cars are down the drain,” Wang said: China’s new energy vehicles are applied by the officials and in the public domain at the first stage, which I think should be learned by worldwide countries. In Europe, many countries have focused on private cars for this piece; however, emissions in the public domain are more evident. He gave an example: China has 120 million units of taxis plus 50 million units of public transport buses, which the numbers have counted 1.7% of the country’s total holdings; nonetheless, their emissions have reached 80% of total exhausts in China, as well as 33% of total fuel consumption in China.
“China’s new energy market presents a tendency of developing from public transportation with comprehensive expansion to the private vehicles.” As Wang predicted: “by the end of this year, the monthly sales of new energy vehicles in China will overtake the US market that will become the world’s largest country by single month; and before 2020, I believe that the market will turn to be much larger that will leave foreign countries far behind.
Feng: GAC Group is forced by the extended range electric vehicle
“With the rapid development of automobile industry, China has quickly entered into the automotive community, while the issues of energy, transportation and the environment are increasingly severe.” As one of the largest automotive groups, Guangzhou Automobile Group, its EVP Feng Xingya introduced GAC’s achievements in new energy vehicles: GAC Group has mastered the core of three power technologies (battery, electric motor) and has turned the new technology into producing the new cars. Currently GAC has three types of new energy vehicles that are put into trial operation, among them, the extended range electric vehicle production has been implemented for mass production in last October, as the car can travel 800 kilometers on a full charge.
For the future plan of new energy, Feng said: in the aspect of auto networking, through electronics, appliances, intelligent technology research and breakthroughs, GAC established mobile phone and TBox intelligent technology, realized the integration of car network, mobile phone network and Internet, the system can meet the different levels of A00 to C-level configuration requirements.
Feng also revealed that GAC is now building an interactive integrated energy management and control system that covers wind power, solar power, energy storage and electric vehicle charging grid, which will become a new model to solve the construction of new energy vehicles. Meanwhile, GAC will commence the study in self-driving technology, application technology in the next generation of car networking, research work in the technology-related net charge-discharge areas, so as to well reserve technically.
Ohtsu: Hydrogen will enter the family
With close to 2020, the fuel consumption regulations are being increasingly stringent in many countries, which provoke higher challenge to the development of new energy technology. Honda Technical Research Institute, Managing Executive Director of the Division, Keiji Ohtsu started from a technical point of view, Honda introduced the technology roadmap for the development of new energy vehicles, in addition to electric energy, the hydrogen will be Honda’s next generation of new energy routes.
“1.5 kg of hydrogen can be used for lightweight vehicle to travel 150 km, I believe the next generation of new energy vehicles will tend to be popular step by step.” Ohtsu described: In March 2012, Honda built the first solar hydrogen station in Japan which does not emit any carbon dioxide; this technology can reduce the small size and low noise devices. In the future we hope that this device can be used as a family for supplying hydrogen and hydrogenation. A vehicle of every generation has its own advantages, mileage, performance, etc. The pure electric vehicles can be used for short distance, while the hybrid electric vehicles and plug-in can be used for medium-range, the plugged MCV energy cell vehicles will be able to use for the longest mileage driving.
Hawes Establishing “low emission vehicles office”
With the global economic integration deepens, the UK has a mature and advanced automobile industry with particularly close relationship with China. There are 2.5 million units worldwide engine that are manufactured by the British auto industry, where 80 percent of the vehicles are for exports, while the Chinese market is currently the largest export market in non-EU area to the UK. Among them, for the promotion and development of new energy vehicles, the British also exhibit unique ideas.
Chief Executive of SMMT, Michael Hawes said: the British government established an innovative and advanced technology promotion center with 10-year investment of one billion pounds. Among them, in terms of the research and promotion of clean energy, it set up a “low emission vehicles office” that combines the Ministry of Transportation, Department of Commerce, Department of Energy as well as other departments and industry together to establish a unified strategy for future advancement. In terms of market incentives, Michael Hawes introduced the measures adopted by the UK: “The first is funding through fiscal incentives; followed by infrastructure construction and fuel delineation etc.” Government Communication and advocacy are essential, Michael Hawes added.
Li: Limited licenses are palliatives
WMG president Li Peng from the media point of view illustrated his opinions on the new energy vehicles and the environment. “To solve the urban traffic congestion, eliminate haze, the policy of adopted limited license is a temporary solution”. Li interpreted his view from three aspects: firstly, the limitation of cars is contrary to the principle of equity purchase; secondly, the car restriction obstructs the economy development; and thirdly, the limitation requires a huge project to support. In short, this method is not suggested to keep in the long-run.
-Published on page#44 & 45 , November-2014 edition of MOBILE WORLD Magazine