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Liu Minghui: Fuel consumption regulations will drive NEV development in China

BEIJING – China’s fuel consumption regulations will be a key driver of new energy vehicle (NEV) development, said Liu Minghui, director of Electric Vehicle Department, R&D Center of FAW Group Corp., at the 5th Green Vehicle Convention 2014 held in Beijing on November 12.

According to the Passenger Vehicle Corporate Average Fuel Consumption Calculation (CAFC) released in March 2013, average fuel consumption of passenger vehicles made in China should be no more than 6.9L/100 km in 2015 and 5.0L/100 km in 2020.

Liu believes that the regulations will force automakers to actively develop NEVs in a bid to decrease their average fuel consumption.

Technological improvement of core components including electric drive system, energy storage system, electric motor and batteries, is key to commercialization of NEVs, according to Liu. Innovation of materials and industry standards will also facilitate NEV development in China, Liu added.

According to Liu, FAW has been focusing on hybrid vehicles since 2005 as this kind of vehicles are easier to produce and promote than pure electric vehicles in the initial stage.

“FAW has sold 100 Besturn PHEVs in Changchun, Jilin Province and will deliver 500 units at the end of the year and 1,000 next year,” said Liu. “We plan to launch a pure electric vehicle targeting private buyers in June 2016.”

China sold 146,044 EVs last year and 11,777 in the first half of this year, far behind the government’s target of selling 1 million in 2020.

Currently, difficulties in charging is an important factor dragging EV sales in China as charging facilities constructed by different OEMs are not suitable for all brand EVs, according to Sun Muzi, assistant to president of China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

Sun believes that local governments’ fundamental task is to support the building of vehicle charging networks with an open mind.

Sun Weijian, vice president and marketing director of Chery New Energy Automobile Technology Co., Ltd., said that OEMs should explore new marketing patterns based on habits of post-80s and -90s generation consumers.

According to Sun from Chery, investing heavily in NEV marketing and advertising is unrealistic as current sales volume is too small. OEMs should conduct precision marketing utilizing big data.

Chery’s Sun said that e-commerce will be a valuable business pattern for OEMs to stimulate NEV sales because building 4S stores for NEVs is infeasible due to limited social and land resources.

Chery has built three nationwide online NEV stores on Tmall.com, suning.com and gome.com.cn. The company has also started NEV leasing by hours or days in Wuhu, Anhui Province, where the automaker is headquartered.

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