In his government work report at this year’s start of the 5th Annual Session of the 12th National People’s Congress, Premier Li Keqiang said the government will encourage the use of clean energy vehicles and China 6 fuel.
Since 2008, “new energy vehicle” has been mentioned every year in the government work report at the annual session, showing the vital importance of the industry and government’s strong support. This is the first time that “CEV” instead of “NEV” was used.
Analysts say it may signal some policy change ahead.
The nation has listed NEV industry as one of the seven strategic booming industries since 2010. After years of policy drive, the industry has passed its primitive growth stage and now the focus would shift to technology, quality, market and service upgrade.
Too much emphasis on NEVs has hit industry R&D, promotion of other clean energy vehicles and energy-saving vehicles.
Industry players’ voices seemed echo the term change in the report. They addressed problems facing the industry at the ongoing Two Sessions.
Li Shufu, chairman of Geely Holding Group, suggested pushing for the development of methanol vehicles and speeding up infrastructure construction basing on piloting programs carried out in some provinces. He also suggested listing methanol as a strategic alternative energy to be used as a transportation fuel.
Liu Chongxi, vice president of Golden Concord Holding Ltd., believes solely use of electricity is not sustainable for both high battery costs compared with their foreign counterparts and few sales in cities with no restrictions on car operation and purchase. He hopes to use fuel cell to replace electricity and estimates a leap forward development in the FCEV industry in the next two years.
Li Hejun, president of Hanergy Holding Group, hopes solar energy vehicles can be listed as a type of NEV and enjoy the same national support like BEVs.
By its definition, PHEVs, BEVs (solar power vehicles included), FCEVs and other energy vehicles all belong to NEVs. But the nation promotes only BEVs and PHEVs, with BEVs taking a dominant market share.
Cui Dongshu, secretary of China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), believes the development of NEVs can get China to the first camp of world auto industry. But considering the 27 million units of traditional vehicles sold, energy saving and NEV promotion should be attached same importance. He listed reasons like great oil consumption brought by large vehicles remains a problem, fuel consumption control technology has progressed slow in all class vehicles and the nation’s policy support on fuel saving had halted.
There would be no EV subsidies after 2020. By then, it might be better to drive the industry in multiple ways, and the government may already be considering multiple solutions and technology paths.