Am­bi­tious draft is­sued for new-en­ergy ve­hi­cle re­search

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By LI YANG in Shang­hai

China’s new-en­ergy au­to­mo­bile mar­ket will de­velop if the cen­tral gov­ern­ment can im­ple­ment its am­bi­tious plan.

The Min­istry of Science and Tech­nol­ogy is­sued a draft of the gov­ern­ment’s plan for sup­port­ing re­search and devel­op­ment of new-en­ergy au­to­mo­biles for opin­ions from the public.

Ac­cord­ing to the plan, China will es­tab­lish a com­plete re­search sys­tem and industrial chain for elec­tric au­to­mo­biles by 2020 to en­sure tech­ni­cal sup­port for about 5 mil­lion new-en­ergy ve­hi­cles on Chi­nese roads then.

It is note­wor­thy there is still a big gap be­tween cur­rent sales and the out­put of new-en­ergy au­to­mo­biles and the gov­ern­ment’s pro­jected ob­jec­tives.

Ac­cord­ing to the China As­so­ci­a­tion of Au­to­mo­bile Man­u­fac­tur­ers, China pro­duced 6,663 new-en­ergy cars last month, and the monthly sales were 6,395 ve­hi­cles. The out­put and sales of bat­tery­elec­tric cars were 3,458 and 3,106 re­spec­tively, and the rest were plug-in hy­brid elec­tric ve­hi­cles.

Ex­perts be­lieve the new plan will give birth to a set of well-tar­geted sup­port­ive poli­cies for the new-en­ergy ve­hi­cle in­dus­try, and usher the emerg­ing in­dus­try into a new devel­op­ment phase.

The draft plan points out elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of power, light­weight struc­ture and ve­hi­cle in­tel­li­gence are the core tech­nolo­gies for the fu­ture devel­op­ment of new-en­ergy au­to­mo­biles. The next 5 to 10 years will be a pe­riod of strate­gic im­por­tance for the re­or­ga­ni­za­tion, trans­for­ma­tion and up­grad­ing of the global au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try.

Jia Xin­guang, an an­a­lyst in Bei­jing, said the gov­ern­ment should pay more at­ten­tion to pro­mote the sales and uses of new-en­ergy au­to­mo­biles in medium- and small-sized cities. “The sub­si­dies in the smaller places are much lower than Bei­jing and Shang­hai. They need more bat­terycharg­ing sta­tions and bet­ter af­ter-sales ser­vice fa­cil­i­ties,” he said.

The plan projects that to­tal sales of new-en­ergy au­to­mo­bile from 2012 to 2015 should hit 500,000, with an­nual this year of at least 400,000.

Dong Yang, sec­re­tary gen­eral of the au­to­mo­bile man­u­fac­tur­ers as­so­ci­a­tion, thinks it will be very dif­fi­cult to ac­com­plish the gov­ern­ment’s plan if it gov­ern­ment does not mete out new sup­port­ive poli­cies, be­cause pro­jected sales this year are about 150,000 to 200,000.

“Shang­hai sold about 4,000 new-en­ergy cars last year, thanks to the sub­sidy and plate ex­emp­tion pol­icy. But the city only has five bat­terycharg­ing sta­tions and fewer than 300 charg­ing posts,” said Hou Yankun, an au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try an­a­lyst at UBS. “Th­ese num­bers do not match with the gov­ern­ment’s ob­jec­tives.”

To over­come the im­pact of high prices on con­sumers, some new-en­ergy car mak­ers have put their ve­hi­cles into the au­to­mo­bile leas­ing and rental mar­ket.

Some ex­perts es­ti­mate that the gov­ern­ment’s strong sup­port for new-en­ergy ve­hi­cles will re­shape the mar­ket in short time, and the size of the new-en­ergy au­to­mo­bile mar­ket will sur­pass that of the United States in about two years.

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