Welcome to China × Cleantech — June 2020. Our China x Cleantech series covers top cleantech stories in China each month.
On July 25, José Pontes reported on Chinese EV sales, highlighting that the Model 3 had almost three times as many sales in June as the #2 SAIC Baojun E-Series. It looks like the Shanghai Gigafactory is doing quite well.
On June 19, José Pontes reported on the sales number of the Chinese EV market for May 2020. In May the sales number were still negative compared to last year but there was a 32% decline year on year because of last year’s end-of-incentive rush. The overall car market had recovered from the first COVID-19 outbreak and economic shutdown. The Model 3, again, was far in the lead in terms of monthly sales.
José again stated that, while the numbers were lower than last year’s, they are expected to start returning to positive growth by the end of the year.
In both the May and June sales reports, José expounded on the top 5 best selling new energy vehicles as well as some promising newcomers.
Plug-in Vehicle Sales Rise from 1% to 5.1% in China in 5 Years, 1.3% to 3% in Europe, & 0.7% to 1.9%
The US Department of Energy released an article looking at how plug-in vehicle market share rose in the USA, Europe, and China from 2015 to 2019. Chinese managed to grow its new energy vehicle sales from 2015–2019 from 1.0% to 5.1%. It is an interesting retrospective from the US Department of Energy.
New Energy Vehicle News
On June 30, Jo Borrás reported on the news that Byton had suspended operations for 6 months. Company directors have been looking for ways to continue the business. It seems that the current global pandemic and the knock-on economic impact of the global pandemic have brought the startup ground to a halt and might mean that Byton will be unable to continue.
On June 17, Elliot Richards of FULLY CHARGED made two test drives in the XPENG P7 and showcased it in the following video. Although I am jealous of Elliot Richards, I am happy for the full FULLY CHARGED crew and recommend subscribing to the well-known sustainability/electric everything YouTube show/podcast. I’ve been following since its inception and it is top quality.
Buick announced that it will launch the VELITE 7 electric SUV in China in 2020. The VELITE 7 has 311 miles/500 km of driving range (NEDC).
Steve Hanley reported on the new Xpeng P7, which may become one of the most popular electric cars in China. He discussed how its stats and pricing put it into good competitive standing with the Tesla Model S and 3. Its starting price is just $32,500, its range is 441 miles/710 km (NEDC) on a single charge of its 81 kWh battery. Read the article for all of Steve Hanley’s musings and details on the XPENG P7.
On June 30 Johnna Crider reported on news that a made-in-China Tesla Model 3 flipped over but still protected its passengers. She then went into details about the engineering behind the Tesla Model 3 that results in such great safety ratings and this real-world result. Read the article for all the videos and details.
— K10✨ (@Kristennetten) June 23, 2020
Johnna Crider also reported on news that Tesla had participated in a pilot of blockchain technology to speed up the import process. Tesla, CargoSmart (a blockchain logistics provider), the Shanghai International Port Group, and COSCO (a Chinese shipping company) had cooperated to see if blockchain could reduce the cargo release time. Johnna Crider then adds details about what blockchain is and how it is being applied to cleantech.
Johnna Crider reported on a video that showed current construction at Tesla Gigafactory 3 in Shanghai, highlighting a new complex for Tesla Model Y manufacturing. The video is shot through some low cloud cover, which gives the drone footage a “magical” quality.
On June 14, Johnna Crider reported on news about the made-in-China Tesla Model 3 SR+. She started with information on the specs and focused on the LFP batteries being supplied by CATL. She also highlighted speculation on the gross margin expected from the made-in-China Tesla Model 3 SR+ — Anxin Securities speculated it would have a gross margin of 39%.
On June 4, Johnna Crider reported on the news that the shell of the Model Y factory was completed at the Tesla Gigafactory 3 Shanghai complex.
Also on June 4, Steve Hanley reported that Tesla plans to add 4,000 Superchargers in China in 2020. Tesla presently has over 2,500 Superchargers in China. This makes sense based on the sales numbers we are seeing in China.
On June 16, Johnna Crider reported on the news that Tesla is sourcing more cobalt for Tesla Gigafactory Berlin and Shanghai from Swiss mining company Glencore. The news was reported by the Financial Times. The rest of the article goes into details about cobalt and issues around its mining and use in batteries.
Renewable Energy News
On June 29, Jo Borrás reported on the news that Volvo Cars announced that its factory in Chengdu, China, will be making the switch to 100% renewable energy. This fits into an overall mission at Volvo Cars to reduce its carbon emissions 40% from 2018 to 2025.
Steve Hanley broke down the paths that Europe, USA and China are taking post-COVID-19 to attempt to keep the economy from buckling from the fallout, also discussing how the relationship between the USA and China is impacting how China is planning ahead.
Cynthia Shahan reported on the news that Astronergy was top performer in the new “2020 PV Module Reliability Scorecard” from PV Evolution Labs (PVEL). it is interesting news as Astronergy is a Chinese firm and is providing good quality solar PV panels with high quality. For more details on the scorecard and the top-performing companies, read the article.
On June 23, Zachary Shahan provided a summary of 3 battery news article regarding LG Chem, CATL, SK innovation. CATL, the largest Chinese EV battery company, is making a push to provide batteries to the European commercial vehicle market by cooperating with DL Bus & Coach B.V. and Quantron AG. This might be big news for efforts to spread electrification of commercial vehicles.
CATL announced that it has a battery that should last a million miles (of charging and discharging) without serious degradation. CATL announced it is ready to begin manufacturing the battery, which it expects to last for 16 years and power a new energy vehicle for 2 million kilometres (1.24 million miles).
Chinese automaker Weltmeister shared that the batteries in its Weltmeister EX5 seem to be holding up quite well. The vehicle, which costs 139,800 yuan ($19,750), uses NCM 811 — cutting-edge batteries that use very little cobalt and offers good energy density. What the company shared is that a customer who bought the Weltmeister EX5 in January 2019 has driven more than 200,000 km (124,274 miles), charged it (partially) more than 1,500 times, and 90% of the time charged at DC fast chargers has had less than 3% battery degradation.
Autonomy & Self-Driving
On June 29, Zachary Shahan released a big summary article of autonomous driving news, including two stories pertaining to China. Firstly Chinese start-up Venti Technologies claimed it put two converted autonomous SAIC-GM-Wuling Automobile SUVs on the road at a university in Guangxi Province, China. Secondly, South China Morning Post had an article discussing how 5G offers the ability for companies to offload more processing power into the cloud, meaning less hardware needed inside the car.
Johnna Crider reported on the news that the Shenzhen city government is offering a new energy vehicle subsidy of 20,000 RMB for BEV or 10,000 for plug-in hybrids. Shenzhen continues to be one of China’s most forward-leaning tech cities.
— Eva Fox 🦊 火星 (@EvaFoxU) June 14, 2020
Chinese Global Impact News
Steve Hanley reported on the news that Norway is trialling the use Maxus electric vans for its rescue service in tunnels. 20 vehicles will be deployed but this trial.
Remeredzai Joseph Kuhudzai wrote about what BEV vehicles he sees as able to help end the “ICE Age” in Africa, and 6 out of the 7 vehicles are Chinese manufactured BEVs.
On June 26, Zachary Shahan reported on news that BYD is expanding its exports of the BYD Tang & Yuan to Colombia. This makes sense since Colombia is starting to pass laws and incentives supporting electric vehicles.