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New energy vehicles are expected to continue to grow at a high rate

Publish Date: 2022.08.03

Despite the impact of the multi-point spread of the COVID-19 and the sharp rise in raw material prices, the production and sales of new energy vehicles in China completed 2.661 million and 2.6 million respectively in the first half of this year, an increase of 1.2 times year-on-year, with a market share of 21.6%.

With the introduction of national policies to promote automobile consumption, the increase of the number of automobile indicators in restricted purchase areas, the relaxation of restrictions on car purchase qualifications, and the recovery of the industrial chain supply chain, China's new energy vehicles are expected to continue to maintain high growth in the second half of the year. The China Automobile Association predicts that the annual sales volume is expected to reach 5.5 million, with a year-on-year increase of more than 56%.


Steady improvement of market competitiveness

52557! In June this year, Tesla Model y reached a new high in domestic delivery, topping the list of China's single month sales of passenger cars in all categories, which also means that for the first time in China, the sales of electric vehicles exceed that of fuel vehicles in a single month.

"The core reason for the explosion of the new energy vehicle market is the products that are more competitive than fuel vehicles, and the key to this competitiveness is the cost performance." Xuchangming, deputy director of the National Information Center, said that the representative products are Tesla Model 3 and model y, which have effectively boosted the sales of some high-end products in China and changed the cognition of Chinese consumers on new energy vehicle products.

At the same time, Wuling Hongguang's sales rose all the way after its listing, becoming an online popular model and being pursued by consumers. BYD DMI series is also very competitive with fuel vehicles by improving product power and price advantages.

The monthly "listing" data of newly built car enterprises showed that after the delivery volume exceeded 10000 vehicles for the first time in June, the monthly delivery volume of five enterprises, Weilai automobile, Xiaopeng automobile, ideal automobile, Nezha automobile and Zero run automobile, exceeded 10000 vehicles again in July. The delivery volume of gac-e'an exceeded 25000, and the cumulative sales volume in the first seven months of this year exceeded 125200, an increase of 135% year-on-year.

Behind the improvement of the competitiveness of new energy vehicle products is the resonance of the joint efforts of various parties. In recent years, the central and local governments have successively issued a series of new energy vehicle consumption support policies, involving vehicle purchase subsidies, purchase tax exemption, license plates and traffic concessions, which have promoted the continuous maturity of core key technologies such as new energy vehicle vehicles and power batteries. The continuous improvement of vehicle product quality, mileage and safety performance has further promoted the improvement of market recognition.

According to the "S-curve" theory of the growth of emerging industries, the market penetration rate of more than 20% is considered to be an inflection point of industry development, which means that the new energy vehicle market will usher in explosive growth. The rise of new forces in car making forces traditional car companies and foreign luxury brands to speed up the layout of the new energy vehicle market. The emergence of more competitive new energy vehicle products will strongly promote the cost performance of new energy vehicles to surpass fuel vehicles, and accelerate the market penetration and popularity of new energy vehicles.

Speed up industrial chain reconstruction

With the rapid growth of new energy vehicles, the contradictions in the supply chain are also prominent.

At the 2022 World Power Battery Conference held in Yibin, Sichuan Province in late July, Zeng Qinghong, chairman of GAC group, roast in his speech: "the cost of power batteries has accounted for 40% to 60% of our car costs. Isn't GAC now working for Ningde times?"

"Usually, we also encounter customers' complaints about us, saying that the vehicle factory is not very profitable. Did your battery factory take away all the profits?" Wu Kai, chief scientist of Ningde times, also couldn't help complaining at this conference: "although our company hasn't lost money this year, it is basically struggling on the edge of a little profit, which is very painful."

Since last year, the prices of lithium, cobalt, nickel and other battery raw materials have risen, especially lithium carbonate, which has soared from more than 50000 yuan per ton to more than 460000 yuan per ton at present. According to the forecast disclosed by Tianqi lithium, the profit in the first half of this year is expected to be 9.6 billion yuan to 11.6 billion yuan, and the net profit of Ganfeng lithium is 7.2 billion yuan to 9 billion yuan. Except Tesla, most vehicle enterprises with new energy vehicles as their main products do not make money.

"The Ministry of industry and information technology, together with the national development and Reform Commission and the State Administration of market supervision, organized a lithium industry operation meeting and a symposium on the rise in the price of upstream materials, which curbed the rising trend in the price of lithium carbonate. However, at present, lithium resources are still at a high level. At the same time, the prices of raw materials such as cobalt, nickel and petroleum coke used for graphite anode are also rising sharply, putting great pressure on the production and operation of enterprises." Guoshougang, deputy director of the first Department of equipment industry of the Ministry of industry and information technology, said.

From the development experience of traditional fuel vehicles, most upstream parts enterprises work for vehicle manufacturers, but in the period of industrial transformation to new energy, vehicle manufacturers have to work for upstream battery raw material suppliers, which is obviously something vehicle manufacturers do not want to see. Zhang Jiangfeng, vice president of the lithium branch of China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, said, "the high price of lithium is not conducive to the expansion of downstream applications, which may lead to the emergence of more substitutes. At the same time, the cost pressure it brings will be transmitted layer by layer, thereby increasing the cost of the entire industrial chain".

A healthy industrial chain must be a benign game ecosystem with upstream, middle and downstream. The problem is that driven by the growth of consumer demand, the current downstream expansion of the industry is usually relatively smooth and short cycle, while the upstream resource development is often affected by geographical constraints, environmental protection requirements, reserve scale, mining difficulty, infrastructure conditions and other factors, and the expansion cycle is long. The mismatch of upstream and downstream production expansion cycles has led to a relatively tight supply of lithium products in the short to medium term. It will take some time for the supply and demand pattern of the lithium industry to reach a real balance.

Guoshougang said that the Ministry of industry and information technology will do a good job in the guarantee of power battery resources and materials from three aspects: first, guide upstream and downstream enterprises to strengthen the connection between supply and demand, establish a stable cooperative relationship through signing long-term agreements, and cooperate to deal with the risks of resource supply and price fluctuations; Second, accelerate the development and utilization of domestic resources, guide local competent departments to ensure the production factors of relevant enterprises, continuously improve the supply level of domestic resources, and support leading enterprises to jointly develop overseas resources in accordance with international rules; Third, promote the comprehensive utilization of renewable resources, study and formulate standards for renewable raw materials such as lithium, and improve the recycling system of power batteries.

At the same time, both vehicle enterprises and battery enterprises have strengthened their control over the upstream core resources. In addition to Tesla's "buy buy buy" mode, BYD not only won a lithium mining contract in Chile, but also strategically invested in Shengxin lithium energy. Shengxin lithium energy has many lithium salt production lines in China and has deployed foreign lithium mines and salt lake resources. After GAC group capital and SAIC Shangqi capital signed a strategic investment agreement with Jiuling lithium, Zeng Qinghong also revealed that "we are also considering buying lithium ore".

According to incomplete statistics, many automobile manufacturers, including Tesla, GAC, BYD, great wall, general motors, Ford, etc., have been involved in the upstream supply chain of battery raw materials. Automobile manufacturers' self-produced power batteries, equity participation and even holding lithium resources are becoming a new trend in the reconstruction of the supply chain of the new energy automobile industry chain.

New consumption mode to be explored

With the major chip manufacturers desperately expanding production, the shortage of automotive chips seems to be easing. However, the intelligent competition of vehicle enterprises around chips is more intense.

Recently, polar krypton announced that the polar krypton 001 cockpit was fully upgraded to "Qualcomm snapdragon 8155 intelligent cockpit computing platform", and undelivered owners can upgrade directly. Regular users can make an appointment for free. According to krypton, Qualcomm snapdragon 8155 chip adopts 7Nm process technology and has 8-core CPU. Compared with the original 820a car machine chip, the CPU computing power is increased by 177%, and the GPU computing power is increased by 94%. After the chip is updated, the cockpit platform is equipped with 16GB memory, twice the bandwidth, and 128GB storage space.

The level of intelligent cockpit technology is an important standard to measure the degree of automotive intelligence. "The core competitiveness of the intelligent cockpit gradually tends to the chip and application software service ecosystem, and the chip determines the level of cockpit intelligence, such as the number of screens, display effect, running fluency, etc.; the software service ecosystem will affect personal experience, such as smart Internet, OTA (over the air download Technology) upgrade, etc." Wang Yao, assistant secretary general and Minister of Technology Department of China Automobile Association, said that the synergy of software and hardware will determine the core competitiveness of the intelligent cockpit.

"Software and hardware upgrades have been planned in the early stage of product planning, including free upgrades. We have decided to give them to users for reform the year before last, constantly improve the original plan, and have estimated the budget." Although an Conghui, CEO of krypton smart technology, explained this, it gave all car owners free replacement of 8155 smart chips, and started the software OTA upgrade in the three fields of smart drive, smart cockpit and smart driving, which instantly pushed the krypton brand to the forefront.

Just a month before the launch of the free upgrade policy of krypton, Weilai automobile released an intelligent cockpit upgrade plan, and the old owners need to spend 9600 yuan at least to upgrade 8155 chips. Although from the content of the upgrade package, the charge is not high, that is, the cost price. However, compared with the free of krypton, consumers will feel somewhat at a loss.

Previously, Tesla CEO musk said, "the future profit growth point of the automotive industry does not lie in selling cars, but in two aspects: travel services based on autonomous driving technology and software payment based on user terminals." This is also the new car building logic followed by many new car building forces, that is, selling cars does not require a lot of profits, and the profit focus of car companies is the OTA upgrade and derived peripheral services after the use of vehicles.

"In order to meet the requirements of consumers for the diversification and personalization of intelligent Internet connected vehicle products, car companies gradually move the product value back to the application end, and let users decide the application services they need, which has gradually become the development trend of the industry." Wang Yao said that in the process of value shifting back, with the development of technology and process improvement, the hardware cost will gradually reduce, and the previous one-time payment mode for car sales will also change to the lifelong payment service mode. However, at present, this adaptive subscription payment mode is still in the exploratory stage, and consumers are also in the process of adapting to the new consumption mode, and there are still variables.

The first half of the competition for new energy vehicles is electrified, and the second half is intelligent. Many industry insiders also pointed out that in the context of the payment upgrade chip plan launched by many car companies, the luxury 300million yuan free upgrade launched by krypton is likely to directly attack the immature user payment mode for software, or it will break the dream of the new force of car making, Ota, to upgrade fees, and promote the intelligent competition of new energy vehicles to enter a climax in advance. (economic daily, yangzhongyang)


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