The China gives up the electrics and the Europe just watches

electric cars

Photo by jurvetson

Two months ago I published one post dealing with selling data and the evolution, over the last years, of the electric cars in Europe.

To avoid of causing useless wars, I limited to reporting market data (ACEA) and to suggesting how to read them analytically and how to contextualize them.

But in private, someone wanted to charge me with provincialism, saying for instance:
“…Pietro, but the China? That is the reference market.
The Italian and European markets are relative
(A/N: ?!?!). The Chinese Boom will force everyone, overdue, to chase the tiger (electric)…”.

At this objection, because I was unprepared and I belong to that extremely rare species – endangered quickly – which talk only about topics they know, I took time out to analyze some data!

So I retrieved data and I analyzed scattered notes here in the blog.

auto elettrica

Photo by byronv2

The China and the electric revolution!

The history has started when the China – which, we remember, is a communist country so that it has not a market economy but a planned one (fellow economists forgive me) – decided to skip the endothermic motorisation and to project directly to the next step, which will come sooner or later, of electric cars.

As a consequence it was launched an incentive plan which, by 2020, would enable it to get a fleet of 5 million not endothermic cars.

The plan foresaw:

  • Several infrastructure;
  • Different disincentives (for example who register an electric car isn’t subject to the quota of license plates);
  • The “classic” economic incentives;
  • The development of public transport based on electrics (I remember the interesting project of replacing the circulating taxi with the new ones totally electric).

But in January 2015 the Chinese government, which I remember talked about 5 million cars by 2020 – considering that at the end of 2014 the registered cars were only 300,000 – reduced the target to 1 million i.e. -80%!

The “newness” is that this decision led to reformulate the incentives downward by taking other roads and among which the increase of the investments in other forms of power source… the CNG for example.

Yes, the dear old CNG!

CNG China

Photo by joiseyshowaa

With a base consisting of a fleet of 4 million vehicles already powered by CNG, of which about 2.6 million are private cars, it will be invested 450 million dollars to build new CNG refuelling station, a kind of virtuous emulation of the Coast to Coast that in the USA allows to reach the eastern and western ends using only CNG!

This procedure will lead, by 2020, to the reduction of the demand of 560,000 barrels of crude oil per day!

In fact, the estimation is that this plan will increase the number of CNG vehicles in these terms:

  • Commercial vehicles, ie those that do more km and with older technology, will become from the current 1.4 million to 2.3 million;
  • Vehicles for private use will exceed 4 million.

I leave to you the conclusions and evaluations….

Translated by Federica Izzo

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  1. Ricardo Oliveira says:

    A CNG vehicle has an I.C. engine. Compared to a BEV or to a Plug-in Hybrid in EV mode, the CNG vehicle doesn’t offer the same silent, smooth and pleasant driving experience. Electric Vehicles are the best suited to urban circulation conditions. World population is increasingly living in urban areas and China is a clear example of this demographic trend. Most of the BEVs can be charged in the existent network, while CNG vehicles need an investment to extend the existent network. The Total Cost of Ownership of a CNG vehicle is higher. An evolution in one component of the BEV (the battery) may solve most of the problems of these vehicles. R&D activities in batteries are very intensive nowadays. Meanwhile, PHEV offer 2 or more vehicles in 1.

  2. Hi Ricardo,
    Thanks to share your opinion….but this is your opinion and not the opinion of chinese Gov.

    This reduction (-80%) isn’t a detail, because now OEMs haven’t any support (and interest) to build EVs for China Market.

  3. Ricardo Oliveira says:

    For my friend Pietro who loves data, here are the latest BEV & PHEV sales numbers in China (Source: ChinaAutoWeb):

    “Chinese EV Sales in March 2015

    Automakers in China produced 14,328 and sold 14,122 plug-in EVs (PEVs) in March, according to CAAM (China Association of Automobile Manufacturers). Compared with the same period in 2014, the output and sales soared 280% and 300% respectively. Deliveries of pure-electric automobiles (both passenger and commercial vehicles) jumped 350% to 9,390, while hybrid sales rose 190% to 4,732 (not including imported models and low-speed EVs).

    In the first three months, PEV output and sales increased 290% and 280% to 27,271 and 26,581 units respectively. Pure-electric sales reached 15,405 on a 380% increase; 11,176 hybrids were sold, 210% more than March 2014.”

  4. Sure my friend Ricardo!

    But China decided to cut from 5 to 1mln of EVs; they haven’t decided to stop all sales.
    Now the goal is to sell 700,000 electric vehicles (300.000 EVs were sold in the past years)

    They should be sold around 140,000 electric vehicles per year until 2020; so you can be sure that the data will not be in decline for now.

    Have you read the last interview of Ghons?…He is disapponted from China Gov. and He think that there will be future for EVs(in China) without Government incentives (while GM thinks in opposite way)

  5. Lanfranco Albani says:

    14,000 PEV and 9,000 EV are grain of sand. Please, keep the focus on the whole numbers.
    And about Italy keep in mind that recharge EV at home is a pure dream that turns on nightmare when you will consider how much increased consumptions are handled not by energy providers but state taxation. Going over 6,000 Kw/h/year, you will pay an _additional_ € 0,20/Kw/h.

  6. Pietro says:

    Thanks Lanfranco and sorry to be late.
    Yes, I agree with your opinion.

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