Race is on to claim lead in NEV in­dus­try

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

Statis­tics show that in 2016, ap­prox­i­mately 50 per­cent of the global de­mand for oil was at­trib­ut­able to the road trans­porta­tion sec­tor, with automobiles ac­count­ing for 20 per­cent. Coun­tries that are strong in the new en­ergy ve­hi­cle in­dus­try there­fore have more room to ease their re­liance on oil. China should pay more at­ten­tion to build­ing up its new en­ergy ve­hi­cle in­dus­try. Ni­u­tan­qin, a colum­nist, said in a re­cent post:

Al­most all ma­jor economies are in­vest­ing heav­ily in the de­vel­op­ment of new en­ergy ve­hi­cles, not only to get rid of the re­straint of oil im­ports and to con­trol the pol­lu­tion re­lated to oil con­sump­tion, but also to strug­gle for an ad­van­tage in the new econ­omy and emerg­ing in­dus­tries.

Ger­many, the United King­dom and France plan to end sales of gas and diesel cars by 2040. And Ja­pan vows to re­place 50 per­cent to 70 per­cent of the cars on its roads with new en­ergy ones by 2030.

As the au­to­mo­bile in­dus­try pro­moted the de­vel­op­ment of a num­ber of re­lated in­dus­tries, the new en­ergy ve­hi­cle in­dus­try will have the same ef­fects on the other sec­tors.

It is es­ti­mated the new en­ergy ve­hi­cle mar­ket will be­come a ma­jor pil­lar of the econ­omy in the world, second only to the real es­tate sec­tor. So the fast de­vel­op­ment of the new en­ergy ve­hi­cle in­dus­try, be­cause of its long in­dus­trial and value chains, and high tech­nol­ogy con­tent, can strongly drive eco­nomic growth.

De­vel­op­ing the new en­ergy car in­dus­try is of strate­gic im­por­tance to China, the largest oil con­sumer in the world, where 55 per­cent of gas is guz­zled by automobiles.

Last year, 90 mil­lion cars were sold world­wide, among which 29 mil­lion were sold in China. And the do­mes­tic en­ter­prises only ac­count for 44 per­cent of the do­mes­tic mar­ket, mostly in the lower-end mar­ket niche. Even if they have tried their best to catch up with the for­eign brands for decades, there is still a long way for them to break the tech­nol­ogy bar­ri­ers in en­gines and gear­boxes.

In com­par­i­son, new en­ergy ve­hi­cles pro­vide Chi­nese en­ter­prises the same start­ing line as their for­eign coun­ter­parts in the com­pe­ti­tion, as China has a com­par­a­tively solid foun­da­tion in in­for­ma­tion, bi­ol­ogy, data and en­ergy. Just like the break­throughs China made in high-speed rail­way and trains, and big planes, de­vel­op­ing the new en­ergy car in­dus­try can prompt the col­lec­tive rise of a group of tech­nolo­gies and in­dus­tries.

China has the world’s largest re­serves of rare earths, im­por­tant raw ma­te­ri­als for per­ma­nent mag­net mo­tors, and the world’s third-largest lithium ore re­serves, which are all China’s strengths in de­vel­op­ing the new en­ergy ve­hi­cle in­dus­try.

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