Chinese auto industry drives towards electrification

By Tian Yi (People's Daily Online) 11:01, May 05, 2023

In the field of electric vehicles (EVs), China is quickly emerging as the global leader. In 2022, China accounted for more than half of the new EVs sold worldwide, with sales of 5.37 million. Electric vehicles (EVs) made up approximately 20% of China's new car sales in 2022.


Visitors at the 20th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition in Shanghai, east China, April 18, 2023. (Photo/Xinhua)

Thanks to its technological prowess and high-quality offerings, Chinese EV companies are seeing an explosive growth in demand from around the world. British-originated brand MG, which is currently owned by the Chinese automobile conglomerate SAIC, has seen its sales abroad rising in the past two years. Last year, BYD, the biggest Chinese EV carmaker, launched three EV models in Europe and Asia-Pacific, and NIO, one of leading Chinese EV brands, also expanded its business to multiple European countries.


A man looks at a BYD Han during the press day of the 100th Brussels Motor Show in Brussels, Belgium, Jan. 13, 2023. (Xinhua/Zheng Huansong)

Innovative experience for drivers and passengers

Modern electric vehicle (EV) technologies are being developed by Chinese enterprises to satisfy consumer demand. The comfort of the driver and passengers, through the use of smart controls, and the range of the vehicle, through the use of more efficient batteries or charging techniques, are the highlights.

Chinese EV owners benefit from advanced car controls while spending significantly less on energy than gasoline-powered cars. In the event of extreme weather, drivers can prepare for their comfort by turning on the air conditioning from their cellphones minutes before entering the vehicle. Battery charging can be stopped automatically at a level chosen by the user.

XPeng, a leading Chinese Smart EV company, offers remote parking called “Valet Parking Assist,” allowing drivers to control their vehicles on smartphone applications at low speed, like a car video game or a James Bond movie.

Inside the vehicles, adding to the luxury interiors furnished by Chinese carmakers, voice-activated controls on Chinese EVs cater to passengers’ requirements with immediate reactions. Passengers can adjust the AC, change temperature, play their favorite songs, open the windows, and others by commanding the car what to do.

Technological advancement

Advancement in battery technology and the expanding battery recharging system have contributed greatly to the rise of the EV industry. Most of the world's best-known EV battery manufacturers operate in China. Lithium battery output reached 750 GWh (1GWh = 1 million KWh) in 2022, a growth of 130% year on year, among which about 40% of the battery output (295 GWh) were used on EVs.

Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL), the world's largest battery producer, is the industry's primary game changer. Battery packs from CATL have been used in almost all EV companies and become the industry's standard.

China has built the most robust recharging network to ensure the driving range of electric powered cars. Data shows there were 5.2 million recharging facilities for EVs, almost double from a year ago.

NIO introduced an innovative recharging method: battery swaps. In NIO’s battery swap stations, NIO car owners can replace their empty batteries with a filled one in five minutes, rather than wait for the long recharging process.


A NIO electric car is seen in a battery swap station during a ceremony of the shipment of the first battery swap station produced by the NIO Power Europe Plant in Biatorbagy, Hungary, on Sept. 16, 2022. (Photo by Attila Volgyi/Xinhua)

Government support policies

Government support lies behind the booming Chinese EV industry. In recent years, China has passed a number of measures to promote new energy vehicles under a larger framework of “carbon peaking and carbon neutrality goals.” Under the framework, China will strive to peak its carbon emissions by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

China has also offered tax-free policies for EV buyers, voiding the 10% vehicle purchasing tax for electric powered vehicles. EVs also enjoy unfettered mobility in Chinese cities imposing restrictions on gasoline powered vehicles such as Beijing.


A new-energy vehicle is seen charging at a service area along the Guangzhou-Shenzhen expressway in south China's Guangdong Province, Oct. 27, 2022. (Xinhua/Li Jiale)

Amid a new wave of technological revolution, the trend of increasing electrification, internet connection, and application of smart technologies will continue to have a defining effect on the auto-mobile industry. Analysts believe that EVs will become the mainstream in auto market. 

(Web editor: Tian Yi, Wu Chengliang)


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