According to the prediction of the China Automobile Association, it is estimated that the sales of new energy vehicles in China will exceed 9 million in 2023, with a year-on-year increase of 35%. However, according to the data of the Ministry of Public Security, by the end of 2022, the number of new energy vehicles in China was 13.1 million, accounting for 4.1% of the total number of vehicles. The overall penetration rate of new energy vehicles was still above a low level. And from January 1, 2023, the subsidy policy for the purchase of new energy vehicles for 13 years will be terminated, which also means that the purchase cost of new energy vehicles will increase. How will the sales of new energy vehicles in China continue to maintain rapid growth after the subsidy is withdrawn?
The market space of Class A vehicles is large, and the price is sinking
At the beginning of the development of the industry, new energy vehicles are often used as the second vehicle in the family, and users are more interested in convenience or advanced sense. Therefore, compact A00 class cars and luxury B and C class cars are more suitable for the needs of new energy owners. By 2022, the penetration rate of A00 models has been close to 100%, and the penetration rate of Class C and above models has also exceeded 40%, becoming the two models with the highest penetration rate in the new energy vehicle segment.
In the A-class car market, because of its complete basic configuration, taking into account economy and practicality, it has always been the backbone of the vehicle market. However, due to the impact of battery cost, charging speed and other factors, new energy vehicles have a flat performance in the competition with fuel vehicles, and the penetration rate is far lower than other market segments. In 2022, the penetration rate is only 16%, ranking the lowest in the market segments for two consecutive years.
In the mature fuel vehicle industry, Class A vehicles account for 60%, and the market structure is olive-shaped, while in the new energy market, Class A vehicles account for only 30%, which is significantly lower than fuel vehicles, and is closer to dumbbell shape as a whole. Under the overall trend of replacing fuel vehicles with new energy vehicles, the market structure of new energy vehicles is also changing from dumbbell distribution to normal olive state.
This trend has begun to appear in the price change of new energy vehicles. According to the statistical data of the Xingheng Power Supply Industry Research Center, the market share of vehicles with a price of less than 200000 has increased from less than 60% in 2021 to 75% in 2022, indicating that the market acceptance of new energy vehicles with medium and low prices is increasing rapidly. Among them, the market share of 100000 to 150000 vehicles is the most prominent. In 2021, its market share is only about 5%, and has risen to 20% in 2022. The official guide price of BYD Qin PLUS DM-i 2023 championship version, which was launched in February, is between 99800 yuan and 145800 yuan, and the order of more than 30000 vehicles in seven days, also reflects the huge market space and potential of this price range.
The development of new energy vehicles has shifted from a policy-driven to a policy-driven and market-driven period. The increase in the cost of purchasing vehicles caused by the withdrawal of state subsidies, coupled with the chain reaction caused by the price reduction of Tesla, has become an inevitable trend for the price of new energy vehicles to sink. The model of less than 200000 yuan will become a must for car companies. What car companies need to do is to provide better products to dispel consumers' concerns about purchasing new energy vehicles, To continue to increase the penetration of new energy vehicles.
400km endurance can meet normal requirements
At present, the main factor affecting the penetration rate of new energy vehicles is the concern of consumers about the range. New energy vehicles will be limited by the range. However, the range of fuel vehicles is not unlimited. At present, the range of fuel vehicles is generally around 600 kilometers, but fuel vehicles do not have the range anxiety. The core reason is that the gas stations are widely distributed and can make the vehicle full in a few minutes.
But why do consumers of new energy vehicles have serious anxiety about their life span? At the present stage, the insufficient number of charging piles for new energy vehicles, slow charging speed, poor compatibility and uneven distribution of charging networks are the main reasons for consumers' anxiety about battery life. In fact, what consumers worry about is not the battery life, but the energy efficiency rate.
According to the 2022 Commuting Monitoring Report of China's Major Cities, among the 44 key cities in the statistics, the average commuting space radius of megacities is 38 kilometers, 31 kilometers, 28 kilometers, and 25 kilometers in type I and II cities. At present, the driving range of mainstream pure electric vehicles can meet the driving needs of the vast majority of users with one or two charges.
According to the statistical data of Xingheng Power Supply Industry Research Center, more than 90% of pure electric vehicles will have a range of less than 600 kilometers in 2022, of which more than 60% will be pure electric vehicles with a range of less than 400 kilometers. The popularity of Wuling Hongguang MINI EV also shows that consumers do not blindly pursue long range when buying cars.
There is a basic knowledge in the battery field. The energy density, power density, cycle characteristics, safety and cost of the battery are a seesaw that emphasizes balance. If one performance is outstanding, there will be a performance decline. In the absence of obvious innovation in battery technology, to increase the vehicle's endurance, it can only be achieved temporarily by stacking batteries. For example, Weilai ET7 150KWh, AION LX 144KWh, and Tesla Roadster have reached 200KWh, all of which are representatives of long endurance.
However, the cost increase brought about by stacking batteries to achieve long endurance is ultimately borne by consumers. Take Weilai ET7 150KWh as an example, its battery cost is equivalent to that of a Weilai ET5, while the price of a complete vehicle of ET5 75KWh battery version is 328000 yuan, and the separation price of car and electricity is 258000 yuan, which is obviously not acceptable to most consumers. The more batteries are stacked, the more disadvantages in handling and efficiency are far greater than the improvement in endurance. The thermal management pressure, cost pressure and space layout pressure brought by the stacking of batteries are unbearable for vehicle enterprises.
Wang Chuanfu, chairman of BYD, once said that one of the ways to increase the value of luxury cars is to increase the mileage. However, as the supporting facilities of cars for ordinary people become more and more complete, the mileage may drop from 600 kilometers to 400 kilometers, or even 300 kilometers.
Feng Xiao, chairman and president of Xingheng Power, said that the core issue of electric vehicles is the cost-efficiency ratio. If you drag a battery with a mileage of 500 kilometers, 600 kilometers, or even 1000 kilometers, and only run 50 kilometers a day, the efficiency is only 5% - 10%. This is actually a waste of social resources. With the popularity of charging piles, the average range of electric vehicles will rapidly decrease.
Both domestic and foreign automobile enterprises are launching an impact on the goal of higher endurance. Behind this is the automobile enterprises' research on battery technology and lightweight management technology. It is also more like a stage to show the latest technology reserves to the whole industry.
The barrier to the popularization of new energy vehicles is not the energy density, but the manufacturing cost. The battery with high energy density but the manufacturing cost is also impossible to popularize, and lithium titanate battery is a precedent. Only by reducing the cost of batteries, installing more power stations and charging piles, and achieving faster charging speed are the key factors to dispel consumers' anxiety about battery life and improve the penetration of new energy vehicles.
The popularization of charging piles is accelerating
As the supporting infrastructure supporting the development of new energy vehicles, the solution of charging piles is crucial to the promotion and development of new energy vehicles. According to the statistics of the China Charging Alliance, as of December 2022, the cumulative number of charging infrastructure in the country was 5.21 million, an increase of 99% year on year. Among them, there are 1.8 million public charging piles, an increase of 650000 compared with 2021, with a year-on-year increase of 56.7%. 3.41 million charging piles were built along with the vehicle, an increase of 1.94 million compared with 2021, with a year-on-year increase of 132%. In 2022, the increase of public charging stations will be 37000, and the population will be 111000.
According to the statistics of the Ministry of Public Security, by the end of 2022, the number of new energy vehicles in the country has reached 13.1 million, which means that every 2.5 new energy vehicles in the country can be allocated to a charging pile on average. According to the prediction of the China Charging Alliance, the charging piles will continue to grow steadily in 2023. It is estimated that China will add 3.4 million charging piles with vehicles, 975000 public charging piles and 60000 public charging stations in 2023.
With the continuous acceleration of the popularity of charging piles and charging stations, the anxiety of new energy vehicle consumers will be greatly relieved. At the same time, the government's continuous introduction of relevant policies in the field of new energy vehicle charging will also greatly meet the charging needs of consumers.
In 2022, the NDRC's Implementation Opinions on Further Improving the Service Guarantee Capacity of Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure mentioned that by the end of the "14th Five-Year Plan", China's electric vehicle charging guarantee capacity will be further improved, and a moderately advanced, balanced, intelligent and efficient charging infrastructure system will be formed, which can meet the charging demand of more than 20 million electric vehicles.
In February this year, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and other eight departments proposed in the Notice on Organizing the Pilot Work of Comprehensive Electrification of Vehicles in the Public Sector that the proportion of new public charging piles to the promotion of new energy vehicles in the public sector should strive to reach 1:1, and the proportion of charging facilities in the expressway service area should not be less than 10% of the small parking spaces. At the same time, we will strengthen the construction of special charging and replacement power stations for public transport, taxi, logistics, postal express, and build a number of comprehensive energy service stations that integrate charging and replacement, refueling, etc.
800V high-voltage architecture may become the next generation mainstream platform
While the scale of charging piles has not kept up with the growth rate of new energy vehicles, the charging speed has become a major bottleneck restricting the development of new energy vehicles. According to the data, 87.9% of users prefer to choose high-power charging facilities of 120KW and above when charging, while only 1.6% choose charging facilities below 60KW. Among them, the largest number of users choose 120-150KW high-power charging facilities, accounting for 35.1%. However, at present, the proportion of 150KW charging piles in the market is less than 5%. At the same time, the power of many charging piles is not dynamic sharing, but fixed distribution. Therefore, the current charging pile power is far from meeting the fast charging needs of consumers, and needs to evolve to high power.
At present, there are two ways to realize high power fast charging: high voltage and high current. In contrast, the current large-current mode has a low promotion degree, mainly due to the large increase in heat generated during the large-current charging process, so its fast charging duration is very short, only a few minutes. In addition, the maximum power charging is only carried out at 10% - 20% SOC in the high-current mode, and the charging power in other areas is significantly reduced, which cannot meet the fast charging needs of consumers.
In contrast, the technical route of raising voltage is the mode commonly adopted by automobile enterprises at present. Under high voltage system, the current becomes smaller, which reduces the energy loss of the whole system, thus improving the motor drive efficiency. At the same time, in the high voltage fast charging mode, the battery capacity of the endurance equipment can be reduced, thus reducing the battery cost to reduce the cost of the whole vehicle, saving the space in the vehicle, and ultimately benefiting consumers. Therefore, 800V high voltage fast charging has become the "new favorite" of the market.
At present, many automobile enterprises have made layout in the field of 800V high-voltage fast charging. In 2020, Porsche Taycan launched 800V high-voltage electrical architecture for the first time, supporting 350KW high-power fast charging. After that, overseas auto companies such as Audi and Maserati have successively released 800V fast charging technology, and domestic auto companies such as Great Wall, GAC Aian and Xiaopeng have also successively launched 800V fast charging solutions.
It is worth mentioning that the current charging rate of new energy vehicles is generally 1C. When the 800V voltage platform is adopted, the maximum charging rate can reach 6C. High-voltage fast charging not only brings better experience to consumers, but also poses a great challenge to battery companies. Many battery companies have also provided targeted innovative solutions for the fast charging technology of power batteries. The "golden brick battery" launched by Xingheng Power Supply, with its core designed with all-pole ear, good electric energy overcurrent capacity and supporting 3C super fast charging, will be launched in June 2023.
From the perspective of industry, 2022 will be the first year for the application of 800V high voltage fast charging, and 2023 will be the starting point for the industrialization of the transition from ordinary 400V slow charging to 800V high voltage fast charging.
Battery technology innovation helps reduce cost and improve quality
Power battery accounts for 30% - 40% of the total vehicle cost. As an important link in controlling the cost of new energy vehicles, cost reduction is also an important issue for power battery enterprises, and the innovation of materials and structural technology is an important path for battery enterprises to actively explore the improvement of quality and cost reduction.
In terms of structural technology, many battery companies are actively developing new cost-effective products, such as the "golden brick battery" of Xingheng Power Supply, which adopts a minimalist integrated design, and the number of structural parts is reduced by 30% compared with similar products. In terms of application, due to the small temperature rise of the battery itself, fast heat dissipation, there is no need to carry a liquid cooling system, while reducing the weight of the battery, it also reduces the cost and optimizes the battery cost by 25%.
In terms of material technology, lithium manganese iron phosphate is increasingly recognized by the market due to its higher energy density and lower price, and has become one of the most competitive cathode materials in the phosphate system.
Because of its higher voltage platform, the energy density of lithium manganese iron phosphate is 15% - 20% higher than that of lithium iron phosphate. Although the cost is about 5% - 10% higher than that of lithium iron phosphate, considering that the energy density is about 20% higher, the cost of lithium manganese iron phosphate per watt hour is still lower than that of lithium iron phosphate. Compared with the ternary battery, the lithium manganese iron phosphate battery not only improves its cycle life by nearly 30%, but also reduces its cost by 30%, and its safety performance is greatly improved. At the same time, there is still room for improvement in the performance of lithium manganese iron phosphate battery. Many material manufacturers and battery manufacturers are actively developing and are expected to make major breakthroughs in the year.
According to incomplete statistics, the upstream and downstream enterprises in the automobile industry chain, such as Xingheng Power Supply, Hengchuang Nano, and German Nano, are increasing the layout of lithium ferromanganese phosphate track. The lithium manganese iron phosphate battery of Xingheng Power has been industrialized in the field of electric bicycles and gradually applied to the field of new energy vehicles through continuous technological research and development.
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