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Decade on, Sino-German NEV cooperation bears fruits, shares broad prospects

(Xinhua)    10:18, September 29, 2020

HAIKOU, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The cooperation on new energy vehicles (NEVs) between China and Germany has made remarkable progress over the past decade since the two countries forged a strategic partnership on electric vehicles in June 2011.

As part of the ongoing 2nd World New Energy Vehicle Congress (WNEVC 2020) held in Haikou, capital of south China's Hainan Province running from Sept. 27 to 30, the Sino-German Forum on Cooperation and Development of NEVs was held Monday, reviewing the achievements and sharing future outlook of Sino-German cooperation on e-mobility.

The forum was attended by government officials, representatives of automakers and suppliers in the NEV industry, as well as experts from universities and research institutes in both countries.

Wan Gang, WNEVC president and chairman of the China Association for Science and Technology, said the two countries have seen their cooperation on electric vehicles grow from processing and manufacturing to joint research and development (R&D) and production, brand cultivation, marketing and sales, among other stages along the industrial chain.

The past decade witnessed the rapid growth of the NEV industry, with global sales volume of NEVs rising from roughly 8,000 in 2010 to over 2 million in 2019, Wan said, noting that China is the world's biggest NEV market and Germany is the largest in Europe, together accounting for 60 percent of the world's total NEV sales.

German automaker Volkswagen and Shanghai-based SAIC Motors established the first joint venture manufacturing sedans in China in the 1980s, initiating Sino-German cooperation in the automotive field.

Since then, more German enterprises specializing in vehicle and parts manufacturing, including BMW, Daimler, Bosch, Continental and Siemens, entered the Chinese market and formed close partnerships with Chinese companies.

With the rise of a new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation, the NEV industry is entering a new phase of accelerated development injecting new growth impetus into global economies, and decade of cooperation has promoted technological innovation and the industrial development of electric vehicles in both China and Germany.

Both the German and Chinese automotive industries have been strongly committed to pressing ahead with e-mobility, said Hildegard Muller, president of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), in her address to the forum via video link. She noted that climate protection, a growing scarcity of fossil fuels and an increased need for mobility require new solutions and alternative propulsion systems.

"Under the impact of COVID-19, Germany has issued relevant incentives to recover the NEV markets. In Germany, the increased environmental bonus has given a huge boost to e-cars," said Muller, adding that plug-in hybrids have exhibited particularly vigorous growth.

She said that in June this year, every 10th passenger car made in Germany was an e-car. German automakers currently provide 70 different electric models domestically and 31 models in China. "More will follow," she said.

Forum participants reviewed the achievements of Sino-Germen cooperation over the decade since the two countries forged a strategic partnership on NEVs in June 2011. They also shared their thoughts and discussed the future outlook of cooperation on e-mobility.

"Volkswagen is transforming into an integrated sustainable mobility provider," said Stephan Wollenstein, CEO of Volkswagen Group China, noting that by the end of 2024, Volkswagen and its Chinese joint ventures will invest 15 billion euros (about 17.5 billion U.S. dollars) in e-mobility in China alone.

The German automaker appreciates China's ambitious climate target of having CO2 emissions peak before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060, which is fully in line with the group's "goTOzero" environmental mission, Wollenstein said.

"We're remaining an active partner in the nation's drive toward electrification and carbon neutrality in the future," he added.

Zu Sijie, vice president and chief engineer of Chinese automaker SAIC Motor, one of Volkswagen's partners in China, called for better interactive cooperation between the Chinese and German auto industries. That would include accelerating synergy in new energy technologies for carbon neutrality, enhancing the complementary advantages of intelligent connectivity for a better mobility experience, and deepening collaboration on product innovation systems for a new auto industry ecology.

A report on Sino-German cooperation and development concerning NEVs was jointly released during the WNEVC 2020 by the China Society of Automotive Engineers and the VDA, the forum's two organizers.

China and Germany are looking forward to furthering their cooperation in the future by making policy and sci-tech innovations, promoting an industrial ecology featuring mutual integration and symbiosis, building hydrogen refueling infrastructure, as well as formulating relevant standards and regulations, according to the report.

"The year 2020 marks the 10th year of Sino-German cooperation on NEVs, and we're looking forward to strengthening joint efforts to promote the transformation, innovation and upgrading of the industry at this new historic starting point," Wan Gang said.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wu Chaolan, Liang Jun)

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