China × Cleantech — April 2019

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Welcome to the next issue of China x Cleantech, our April 2019 news edition. For our full China × Cleantech history, stroll over to the “Future Trends” section of our website. For the previous edition, check here.

Renewable Energy

Lower Prices for Renewables Mean Fewer Coal-Powered Generating Stations in China

Steve Hanley reported on how the falling cost of renewable energy will minimize the importance of the nearing end of China’s moratorium on new coal power stations (which is in place in 10 providences). Read more on CleanTechnica.

China’s Solar Installations Down 46% in 1st Quarter

Joshua S Hill reported that in Q1 of 2019 China’s solar installations were down 46%, the total installed capacity in Q1 2019 was 5.2 gigawatts (GW). The reason given for this decline has been the changes in government support, caps, and reduction of the feed-in tariff. Joshua S Hill linked this report with analysis from Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory (AECEA), which is predicting China shifting towards a zero-subsidy model for solar power. Read more on CleanTechnica.

China’s $447 Million Solar Subsidy Could Yield 30 Gigawatts in 2019

Joshua S Hill also reported on recent policy drafts for solar power subsidies in China, which indicates that 3 billion RMB ($447 million) will be made available for solar buyers. That amount of subsidies could support 30–50 gigawatts (GW) of subsidized solar capacity in 2019. Read more on CleanTechnica.

China’s Solar Industry Expected to be Subsidy-Free in 2021

In addition, Joshua S Hill discussed a report by the Asia Europe Clean Energy (Solar) Advisory (AECEA) that notes that the Chinese solar industry is expecting that China’s solar industry will perhaps be subsidy-free by 2021. The reasons are discussed in detail in the article, but they boil down to the point that the Chinese government is giving priority to unsubsidised solar. This shift towards requirements rather than subsidies mirrors what is happening in the electric vehicle market in China. Read more on CleanTechnica.

EV Sales

China’s EV Sales Grow 118% Year on Year & Fossil Sales Fall 13% — Q1 Charts!

Dr. Maximilian Holland reviewed China’s Q1 car sales and found that year-on-year fossil fuel car sales fell by 13% while electric car sales grew by 118%. He reviewed these numbers and put them in a global perspective, estimating that in 2019 fewer fossil-fueled cars will be sold globally than in 2018.


Elon Musk Confirms that Construction of Tesla’s New Gigafactory in China is on Track

Kyle Field wrote that Elon Musk confirmed in a tweet that the Tesla Gigafactory Shanghai structure will be completed in May. The equipment to turn the shell of the factory into a working factory will then be installed and calibrated over the course of a few months, and then the factory will start production! For more pictures and discussion, check out the article.

Tesla Model 3 Sales Booming in China, while Gigafactory 3 Construction Going 24/7

Zach Shahan reported on the massive Q1 Model 3 sales push in China and Tesla Gigafactory 3 construction progress there. For more pictures, read the article.

Autonomous Vehicles

Baidu Dominates Chinese Autonomous Driving Tests

Erika Clugston reported on figures from the Beijing transportation department regarding what companies are operating autonomous vehicles and how many tests miles have been driven in Beijing. Baidu had the largest share, at 91% of the miles out of the 8 companies. The rest of the article goes into Baidu’s background in autonomous driving.

Shanghai Auto Show

The 2019 Shanghai Auto Show got covered extensively on CleanTechnica.

Sebastian Blanco covered 12 “shiny cars” shown at the show — his first article covered SUVs, delivery robots, and a few cars. The second article covered sports car concepts, sedans, SUVs, and a compact car. As Sebastian noted in his first article from the Shanghai Auto Show, the show is too massive for just one person to cover. I also wrote about the unveiling of the Xpeng P7 at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show and we had a few articles published in May about the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show:

Auto Shanghai 2019

Electric Vehicle Factories

BYD’s New 400,000 New Energy Vehicle Factory in Changzhou

BYD and the Changzhou municipal government signed an agreement to invest 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) into industrial parks dedicated to the production of new energy vehicles and their core components. This factory project is estimated to be able to produce at peak production 400,000 new energy vehicles a year and will be able to simultaneously produce 10 models of the Dynasty (high-end) and E Series (economy) trims.

The Changzhou new energy vehicle industrial park will make it the 4th major car production base in China for BYD. The others are in Shenzhen, Xi’an, and Changsha. Those 3 existing production facilities for have a total production capacity of 800,000 vehicles per year, but they are not at maximum utilization because they only produce 500,000 passenger cars.

CATL & FAW Cooperating on Battery Joint Venture

In Ningde, Fujian Province, FAW and CATL will be cooperating to build a battery project to provide batteries to FAW. This project is how CATL seeks to build closer cooperation with key auto industry players. CATL will hold 51% of the shares and FAW 49%. The project investment will be 4.4 billion RMB ($6.4 billion). This news offers an insight into how CATL is building its strategic partnerships and relationships and how this will impact battery development in China.

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International Clean Energy Cooperation

BYD and Chile Discussed Future Collaboration in Green Development

The President of Chile visited BYD and discussed future collaboration in line with China’s belt and road initiative.

The reason for this visit is Chile’s plans to update its public infrastructure, which includes electrification of its bus fleet, which BYD has some experience with, upgrading and expanding its rail system, and investing in a clean energy system.

The article goes into the visit and poses an interesting prospect of Chinese companies collaborating with foreign governments to help them meet their green development needs while also avoiding traditional big international players.

200 Electric Truck Order for BYD from Australia

Nexport ordered 200 electric trucks from BYD. This marks the first BYD electric truck order from Australia and BYD’s entry into that market.

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Tim Dixon

When not researching the Chinese electric car market, I am teaching in China. My interest in sustainable development started in University and it led me to work with Tesla Europe in the Supercharger team. I'm interested in science fiction, D&D, and travel. You can follow me on Twitter @TimDixon3.

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