Welcome to the next issue of China x Cleantech, our July 2019 edition. For our full China × Cleantech history, stroll over to the “Future Trends” section of our website. For the June edition, click here.
Jose Pontes reported on the June sales of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) in China for CleanTechnica. In the report, he noted that the Chinese plug-in electric vehicle market has returned to form after a brief slowdown in growth. There were 147,000 registrations in total in June, which was up 72% year over year (YoY). Fully electric vehicles (BEVs) saw sales increase 97% YoY. Jose added the important context that the mainstream market had fallen 8% YoY, which pushed June PEV market share to 8.5%.
Jose noted that new energy vehicle (NEV) subsidies were removed for vehicles with lower than 250 km of range and cut in half for those with higher range, starting June 26. This means we are going to see some big shifts coming. Other notable news was that the Tesla Model 3 jumped from 2,000 registrations in May to 6,500 in June, and the Changan Eado EV went from 1,892 in May to 7,340 in June. This pushed the Tesla Model 3 to 4th place and the Changan Eado EV to 2nd place.
The article has a lot of interesting data and data visualizations of the numbers, both for June and the year through June.
Tesla’s relentless push to make the world sustainable keeps going. There were a couple of highlights from China in June.
Tesla aims to start trial production at Gigafactory 3 in September and has hired its first staff group. It also continued its search for good employees via job fairs held in July. This article goes into details about skepticism Tesla faced when announcing Gigafactory 3, and the progress it has shown so quickly. At the end it dives into the optics of this endeavor in the USA.
In another piece, Johnna Crider also shared the news that Tesla Gigafactory 3 is ahead of schedule and that Chinese Tesla Model 3 production might start earlier than expected. This was based on an interview in the Chinese press.
The Chinese renewable energy market is consistently the largest in the world. Let’s look at the news from July.
Joshua Hill reported on China’s National Energy Administration announcing the results of its 2019 Feed-in Tariff (FiT) auction, which approved projects for 2019 totaling 22.78 gigawatts (GW) of capacity.
Joshua Hill reported on new figures from Bloomberg New Energy Finance in global renewable investment. The figures show that renewable energy investment in China plummeted by 39% in the first half of 2019. That dragged the global renewable investment down 14%. Although, it was reported that this number might change in the second half of the year as market conditions change. The slowdown was attributed to a lack of certainty on government solar policy.
Joshua Hill reported on the 2019 first-quarter results from Jinko Solar, a major Chinese solar PV manufacturer. The company’s first-quarter shipments jumped 50.7%, which led to it expanding its manufacturing capacity.
Steve Hanley provided a broad overview of the Chinese renewable energy market, starting with recent government policy impacts on the industry, moving on to Chinese solar company exports to the world and how they are even expanding into high-growth developing markets. He ends by pointing out China’s role as an unmatched electric vehicle and renewable energy global powerhouse.
Joshua Hill wrote about an analysis from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables that is predicting that China will be the largest energy storage market in the Asia Pacific region by 2024. It is presently second behind South Korea. The growth at present is driven by government policy incentives. The Chinese State Grid Corporation, the state-owned utility, made up 83% of 2018’s total installed capacity, but Wood Mackenzie is expecting the main driver to change by 2020. Changes to the pricing structure of ancillary service energy market and the cost of energy storage deployment will drive the rapid growth of the sector.
Joshua Hill wrote about how new high-voltage DC power lines stretching 3,324 kilometres (2,065 miles) from the Xinjiang province to the Anhui province will reduce coal demand. China is enacting many policies to reduce pollution. Ensuring adequate infrastructure is one of them, as this project shows.
I wrote a case study about one of the strategies automakers are using to deal with Chinese EV mandates. The article explains the country’s EV mandates and that one of the strategies employed by Volkswagen Group is to partner with the Chinese automaker JAC to develop a slightly modified JAC iEV7S and market it under its own joint venture brand SOL. Volkswagen and other automakers are using multiple strategies to adapt, but this is a common one.
InsideEVs wrote about Nissan cooperating with Dongfeng to make an electric pickup truck for the Chinese market. The article contains a video, pictures, and details of the pickup truck, like 402 km (250 miles) of NEDC-rated range.
Kyle Field reported on an announcement by BJEV, an electric-only subsidiary of BAIC, that it is developing 6 new electric vehicles on 3 new battery electric vehicle platforms. Details of the 6 new electric vehicles are few except that they should be ready by 2021. These developments are being supported by a new research and development facility that is being invested in by BAIC and many other partners.
Chinese NEV Global Expansion
Kyle Field reported on the news that BYD has delivered its first 7 electric taxis to Panama. The BYD e6 is the model used, a common electric model for taxis around the world. The fleet will expand to 97 units by the end of the year, with an end goal of importing 1,500 BYD e6 EVs to complete the taxi fleet.
This deal might show the future growth of Chinese EV expansion, selling to fleet customers (for whom lower operating cost are an important factor) and focusing on developing markets.
Nicolas Zart reported on Xpeng hiring three more executives to its leadership team. The article goes into details on who these hires are and their history, showing them to be experienced executives who might add to Xpeng’s resources. Nicolas ends by praising Xpeng’s deliberate strategy of tangible sustainable growth.
Kyle Field reported on the opening of the BYD Global Design Center in Shenzhen. The effort is to build up BYD design expertise as the company moves into building end-user products rather than just components. Many Chinese car manufacturers have been accused of being behind the curve when it comes to design, safety, technology, and efficiency, but this is changing, and BYD is one of the leaders in the change.
The building is equipped with the best machines to help its 300 designers and external design staff do their jobs.
Although, I’d like to point out that the design of BYD Global Design Center in Shenzhen is somewhat of a disappointment in my eyes, a glass box attached to a concrete shed. I thought they might want to surround their design staff in a more beautiful and sustainable building that leveraged their technology and would inspire their work.
Steve Hanley broke down the news that Honda is working on a modular electric platform for the global market and Toyota has partnered with Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL) for battery supplies and to develop related technologies.
Kyle reported on Toyota and BYD announcing that they are partnering to develop electric vehicle batteries. The agreement also has provisions that they will cooperate on the development of electric sedans and SUVs. These vehicles will be sold under the Toyota brand in China and they are aiming for the early 2020s.
The rest of the article goes into the background of both BYD and Toyota to give more context of the deal.
Kyle interviewed a number of people at Wallbox as they launched into the US and Chinese markets. The company is now in the 3 main markets for electric cars (Europe, USA, and China). He looked into the residential bi-directional DC fast charger Wallbox is launching and the other products offered.
Magna International, one of the world’s largest suppliers of auto parts, has signed a joint venture with BAIC Group to manufacture complete electric vehicles in China. The joint venture will be open to contract manufacturing electric vehicles for other companies and is aiming to have the capacity for 180,000 electric vehicles (EVs) per year. The joint venture factory will be in Zhenjiang, Jiangsu province, China.
Food production is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, many companies are tackling meat production. Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat are common examples, and some are evening tackling seafood. As China develops, its diet includes more and more meat and seafood, so food has been and will be an increasing source of greenhouse gas emissions for the country. Alternatives have to be found and used. Market forces already see the need and opportunity.
Erika Clugston interviewed Carrie Chan, the co-founder and CEO of Avant Meats. Avant Meats is a Chinese startup in the R&D stage of developing cultured cell-based meats for the Chinese and Asian market. They are focusing on developing fish and seafood alternatives, which is important as the oceans come under increasing pressure from climate change, ocean acidification, and overfishing.