Inicio EV China reaffirms EV commitment with new measures amid doubts · TechNode

China reaffirms EV commitment with new measures amid doubts · TechNode

China reaffirms EV commitment with new measures amid doubts · TechNode

China will stick to its plan of becoming an electric vehicle powerhouse on the world stage despite recent signs of weakness in the industry, and will fine-tune policies to deal with challenges including slowdowns and overcapacity, government officials said over the weekend. 

EV skepticism: The comments came after a slew of international carmakers, including Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and Ford, moved to either cut production of electric models or delay their electrification goals as global demand growth fell short of their lofty expectations. Meanwhile, 2024 kicked off with a new round of price cuts in the Chinese auto market, putting loss-making EV makers under further pressure. 

  • “It is untrue to claim vehicle electrification is a trap set by the West,” Ouyang Minggao, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Science, commented in response to doubts raised in the industry about the affordability and practicality of EVs at an annual forum organized by the EV100 think tank on March 16 (our translation). 
  • Ouyang, also a vice chair leading the think tank and a standing committee member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC), said China‘s pursuit of new energy vehicles (NEVs) came after “great deliberation with due concern for oil security, air pollution, and industrial transformation,” according to a video clip seen by TechNode. 
  • China could consider being more open to foreign companies, according to Ouyang, who proposed that the government should remove tariffs on EV imports, which could also help to offset geopolitical tensions. “We missed the opportunity to excel in making fossil-fuel cars, but I am confident about China becoming a powerhouse in the era of NEVs,” Ouyang added.

New measures: China will announce comprehensive measures in the coming days to boost domestic demand, facilitate consolidation in the industry, and broaden mass adoption for battery cars, according to several vice ministers who attended the forum. 

  • China will enforce stricter oversight on the requirements pertaining to investments for manufacturing NEVs, curb blind expansion in NEV projects, and release specific guidance and regulation for merger and reorganization activities, said Shan Zhongde, a Deputy Minister of Industry and Information Technology. 
  • The Commerce Ministry will look into the possibility of reducing insurance premiums on NEVs to help improve maintenance services and alleviate customers’ concerns, according to Vice Minister Sheng Qiuping. Meanwhile, Beijing will introduce new incentives to encourage buyers to trade in their old vehicles for greener ones, especially NEVs and hybrid vehicles. 
  • The central government is also aiming to renovate 50,000 old urban residential communities this year, which will include the installation of public chargers for EVs, said Qin Haixiang, a Deputy Minister of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. The National Energy Administration will concurrently push for the sufficient availability of charging points in the country’s vast majority of rural areas, said director Du Zhongming. 

READ MORE: EV charging problems deepen as Chinese consumer confidence wavers: McKinsey

Rising PHEV usage: China expects the rising adoption of plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) to offset the slowing growth of battery EVs in the short to medium term. BYD reported sales of roughly 1.57 and 1.44 million BEVs and PHEVs respectively last year, prompting a growing number of Chinese carmakers to follow suit in producing more of the battery EV alternatives. 

  • Ouyang described the dual strategy of making both PHEVs and BEVs as “a wise move.” He expects PHEVs to grab significant market share from internal combustion engine cars in the coming years, especially in the price segment between RMB 70,000 and RMB 100,000 ($9,724 and $13,891), while envisioning a more widespread adoption of BEVs over the next decade.
  • Sales of BEV and PHEVs in China rose 11.7% and 72.8% respectively in the first two months of this year, according to figures from the China Association of Auto Manufacturers (CAAM). Overall NEV sales increased 29.4% to 1.2 million over the period, and the industry group expects growth to further slow down to 21.1% in 2024 from last year, when the market grew by 37.9%. 

READ MORE: Chinese EV makers’ February sales hit by holiday, cold snaps