SHANGHAI – New energy vehicles and car sharing are the keys to intelligent mobility and create a cleaner and smarter transportation ecosystem, which is an opportunity for the auto industry to transform, according to Erik Jonnaert, secretary general of European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA).
Jonnaert made the comments at the 15th China Automotive Industry Forum 2017 organized by China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) and ACEA on October 21 in Shanghai, where OEM executives, industry officials and academicians discussed the latest development of NEVs, future prospects of car sharing and other topics.
Weiming Soh, executive vice president of Volkswagen Group and Volkswagen Group China in charge of strategy, marketing and sales, said that car sharing does not just mean using an App to book a vehicle, which is actually associated with artificial intelligence (AI). “If we can connect all systems by AI, the era of car sharing may be coming earlier than expected,” said Soh.
Soh also thought that electric vehicles have developed rapidly in China and predicted that the number of EVs would increase significantly. “Technology is developing faster than we think, but it takes a while to be commercialized,” said Soh. “The number of EVs sold in China has already reached 300,000 units this year, which is twice as those sold in the U.S. I think there will be 2 million EVs sold annually in China after three years.”
Lu Qun, chairman of Qiantu Motor, believes there were two key points on developing EVs. One is how to make the vehicle lighter and reduce electricity consumption, and the cost of batteries will be the deciding factor whether EV enterprises can really have a chance to develop. However, light weighting is a heavy blow for traditional auto industry, because traditional vehicles are produced with mainly steel.
The other key point is intelligent manufacturing. The traditional vehicle industry has a large quantity of standardized production process, but in the future the travel demand of people must be diverse and personalized, so people will need personalized vehicles. Intelligent manufacturing can solve this conflict and create a new production model in the whole supply chain link and information chain. The Suzhou plant of Qiantu Motor will begin to have trial production and the K50 sports car will hit the market at the end of 2018, according to Lu.
Jin Wenhui, executive vice president of Jiangling Motors, predicted that the past traditional auto market centered on personal use of cars would transform into a new market centered on usage scenarios, which need the support of car sharing and other related technologies. “The model of car sharing that people use different vehicles for different demands is able to reduce emissions and occupation of urban space. In the future, we will use a car, but don’t necessarily have to own one. Even if we have a car, it may not be exclusively owned by one person,” said Jin.
Jiangling Motors in the past aimed to be the leading commercial vehicle production and sales enterprise, but now it is hoping to transform into a partner for mobility and smart logistics solutions and strengthen its three aspects on customers, business and data platform.
With the support of Chinese government, the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle market will develop rapidly, predicted Lee Hyuk Joon, vice president of Hyundai Motor (China).
“Hyundai Motor aims to develop electric vehicle and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles equipped with new energy systems to realize clean mobility and launch 31 new energy vehicle models by 2020,” said Lee.
China currently offers a subsidy of ¥500,000 per vehicle for fuel cell vehicles and Shanghai recently announced a fuel cell vehicle development plan where by 2020 the city plans to produce thousands of fuel cell vehicles and by 2025 it will have built 50 hydrogen filling stations.