Bat­tery tech­nol­ogy is core fo­cus for im­prove­ments

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By DU­JUAN

The bat­tery, of­ten called the “heart” of an elec­tric car, is al­ways the first con­cern and an im­por­tant stan­dard for buy­ers.

Cur­rently, the av­er­age bat­tery range of a do­mes­tic elec­tric car is about 200 to 300 km, juste­nough­foraweek’s reg­u­lar use in con­gested cities.

As a re­sult, bat­tery tech­nol­ogy has be­come the core fo­cus of devel­op­ment in the new en­ergy ve­hi­cle sec­tor.

Wan Gang, min­is­ter of science and tech­nol­ogy, said that in the com­ing five years, Chi­nese man­u­fac­tur­ers will dou­ble the amount of en­ergy each bat­tery can store and halve the cost.

“The real gap be­tweenChina and other coun­tries in the new en­ergy ve­hi­cle sec­tor is in bat­tery tech­nol­ogy integration and pro­duc­tion,” Wan said.

China has in­vested heav­ily in the re­search and devel­op­ment of bat­tery power. Com­pared with the level in 2011, cur­rent bat­tery den­si­ties have been dou­bled and costs low­ered, ac­cord­ing to man­u­fac­tur­ers whode­clined to pro­vid­ede­tails, cit­ing busi­ness con­fi­den­tial­ity.

Li Lei, a taxi driver in Xi’an, cap­i­tal of the north­west­ern prov­ince of Shaanxi, where all buses and taxis are ei­ther fu­eled by elec­tric­ity or nat­u­ral gas, said both bat­tery tech­nol­ogy and com­fort lev­els have im­proved in re­cent years.

“I used to drive a gas-pow­ered car when the price of oil was high,” he said. “Now, even though the oil price has fallen a lot, elec­tric cars still cost much less than con­ven­tional ones.”

Do­mes­tic au­tomak­ers, in­clud­ing BAIC Group, Haw­tai Mo­tor Group and JAC Mo­tors, plan to launch elec­tric SUVs this year. Mean­while, in July, Han­ergy Group launched four cars that use a thin-film so­lar panel on the roof to cap­ture so­lar en­ergy and par­tially power the ve­hi­cle.

More­over, a num­ber of sci­en­tific in­sti­tu­tions are work­ing to de­velop al­ter­na­tive bat­tery types, such as fuel cells and graphene, which will of­fer a wider range of pos­si­bil­i­ties.

The real gap be­tween China and other coun­tries in the new en­ergy ve­hi­cle sec­tor is in bat­tery tech­nol­ogy integration and pro­duc­tion.” min­is­ter of science and tech­nol­ogy

Wan Gang,

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