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Tales From The Future. I picked my nickname because many advisors and investors claim they can predict the future of the (stock) markets and somehow pick the winners. I don't. I usually do not engage in short-term trading and myopic analysis (quarter by quarter, without looking at the big... More
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  • EVs In China: Carsharing, Local Manufacturers And Traffic Congestion - It's Complicated 45 comments
    Mar 21, 2014 9:37 PM | about stocks: MCHI, TSLA, KNDI

    A leading executive from German auto supplier Bosch recently had the following to say about the future of the automobile:

    Die Zukunft des Autofahrens: elektrisch, automatisiert, vernetzt

    (The future of driving (cars): electric, automated and networked)

    Source: www.bosch-presse.de/presseforum/details....

    I mostly agree with the outlook in the long run - but not with the (quite optimistic) timeline outlined by Bosch detailed in the link.

    With that said, it will interesting how the biggest car market in the world, China, will absorb these three developments as the country tries to move to "greener" (even that's debatable since much electricity in China is coming from dirty coal plants, I will leave it at that) transit.

    I won't focus on "automated" driving as these developments are too far in the future in my opinion (2025 or later in many countries?) and only focus on electric and networked aspects:

    1. Electric

    Sales of EVs and PHEVs in China were dismal so far. Based on new regulations and incentives...

    Chinese cities open up green car markets as government battles pollution

    (..) But the cities last month said they would subsidize purchases of pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars from Chinese makers including Warren Buffett-backed BYD, SAIC Motor Corp and Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Co Ltd (JAC Motors).

    Any sales rise will add to a population of 50,000 new energy vehicles "NEV" - defined in China as electric, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell - well short of a government target for half a million by 2015 and 5 million by 2020.

    "This is the goal to strive toward, with the numerical targets putting pressure on car makers," said Luo Xing'an, secretary general of the Guangdong Automobile Association. "But there's no guarantee these targets will be met. The foundation of the industry is not yet solid."

    Soure: uk.reuters.com/article/2014/03/21/us-chi...

    ...the Chinese local and central governments aim to boost sales for "NEVs" in the future.

    In anticipation of subsidies and regulations many foreign car makers set up local JVs and created new car brands to appease the Chinese government (so far, only locally produced EVs and PHEVs get the full subsidies and incentives). Some NEV brand examples include:

    • Zinoro (Brilliance-BMW)
    • Denza (Mercedes-BYD)
    • Venucia (Nissan-Dongfeng)
    • Carely (FAW-Volkswagen)
    • ...

    In addition, NEVs from local Chinese companies such as aforementioned BYD now qualify for nationwide incentives.

    BYD (on their own, outside the JV) just launched the best selling EV/PHEV in China according to their PR, their new Qin PHEV model:

    (click to enlarge)

    BYD's QIN is announced "China's Q1-2014 Best-Selling Electric Vehicle" and the Quarter is not even over

    (...) the BYD QIN has been selling at record numbers, so much that BYD has had trouble meeting demand. In the first weeks of 2014, more than 6,000 vehicles were sold accounting for over half (50%) of the Chinese new-energy vehicle market. Analysts are not expecting sales to slow down any time soon as both Shanghai and Beijing announced earlier this month that they will now permit BYD new energy vehicles to qualify for local municipality green-vehicle incentives and be licensed in those regions.

    Source: www.businesswire.com/news/home/201403200...;China's-Q1-2014-Best-Selling-Electric

    Even so, more than 6000 units per quarter are a drop in the bucket compared to total car sales in China - over 20 million new cars are sold in China each year (please see the comment section at the end where I will add more detailed numbers and links about NEV and luxury car sales in China).

    2. Networked

    One important aspect of networked transportation and reducing the traffic in big Chinese cities is sharing cars instead of owning them. One Chinese company involved in the sector and listed on US markets is Kandi Technologies (NASDAQ:KNDI). I can however not recommend KNDI stock since there were repeated doubts about the company's numbers in the past. For details, please see...

    Kandi Technologies: Weighing The Evidence

    Source: www.forbes.com/sites/tomkonrad/2013/05/3.../

    ...with further links on the subject. Generally, the idea of car sharing networks with EVs in large metropolitan cars makes sense however and is by no means unique to China. French company Bollore is using the same model in big Western cities (available today in Paris, soon in London and US cities):

    Parisian Bollore Electric Car Is Cheap; Requires Battery Rental Source: http://greencarreports.com/news/1082896_parisia...

    and

    Tycoon Vincent Bolloré to back London electric car hire scheme -
    Scheme planned for 2015 will allow drivers to book electric cars for short journeys between parking points in the city

    Source: www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/mar/12/...

    Coming back to China, these incentives and share networks will take a long time to implement.

    The current problems include missing charging points - both (DC) fast-chargers and slow chargers for workplace/overnight charging.

    China recently decided on adopting its own fast-charging (DC) standard called GB/T with yet another plug design from the globally dominant SAE Combo and Chademo designs. Below is an overview of the four DC plugs in use worldwide, the "Chinese" plug is System B:

    (click to enlarge)

    At least manufacturers now (2014) have certainty which systems are approved by regulation bodies worldwide (encourages investments).

    But since the majority of drivers need to/want to charge their EVs at home or at work using slower AC connections many issues remain in China due to regulations and bureaucracy. Below is a report from an early EV adopter living in China:

    However, installation of a charging pole on the permanent parking lot at his residential area took four months. The application procedure is extremely complicated, partly because demand is limited to a small number of individuals.

    "First, I sent an application to the property management company, which discussed the matter for two months before finally giving approval. Then I applied to a power supply bureau and Shanghai Municipal Electric Power for the electricity supply and installation of an electricity meter. In the end, I submitted a construction plan to the property management company for approval and arranged the wiring layout myself," he said.

    (...)

    Most companies that manage parking lots and residential areas do not allow the installation of charging poles because of the amount of space required. Once, charging poles were installed in front of service centers and offices of power supply bureaus in Shanghai, but now they're only installed at the request of individual drivers, according to Li.

    Source: www.chinacartimes.com/2013/08/guy-bought.../

    The above example was for a "lucky" person who at least had a permanent parking spot of his own. Most Chinese people living in big cities don't even have a personal parking spot and even fewer have a personal garage (very expensive in city centers) to conveniently charge their cars overnight.

    Where does that leave current EV media darling Tesla, selling only high-end cars until at least 2017 (and without a local manufacturing base in China at the moment)?

    The question is important because many TSLA bulls expect the company to sell many vehicles in China (and the Chinese market to become as big as/ bigger than the North America soon, as is the case with other car brands selling into China).

    (Besides China, Japan and UK remain the only two untapped large car markets for TSLA in 2014)

    Tesla will enter the Chinese market in 2014 with a slightly modified Model S (there was talk about improved rear sets because some buyers will have a driver in China, I couldn't confirm these modifications so far. It will also make sense to produce an adapter for the aforementioned GBT standard and plug system in China).

    I remain skeptical for TSLA and other high-end EVs in China as I outlined above (general slow uptake of EVs/PHEVs in China) and in earlier comments. A summary:

    Foreign high-end manufacturers have to add about 40% import taxes to their unit prices to Chinese imports, this immediately cancels out EV/PHEV incentives and rebates.

    For example, a BMW i3 will cost close to $100k in China while the high-end Model S from TSLA will start at about $120k - even as TSLA promises not to price-gauge their customers in China.

    More generally, market innovators and early entrants rarely stay on top as a market matures. EVs and PHEVs are still in infant stages today.

    I see heavy competition in EVs and PHEVs and shrinking margins for TSLA and all other higher-end EV makers in a few years.

    The listed joint-ventures in the mass-market in China (Zinoro, Denza, Venucia...*) are ready with EVs and standing by until more incentives or regulations are passed to increase production and sales efforts.

    In particular, new so-called "fast followers" from within Asia in the mass car market around $15-30k (the car ASP is lower in Asia than in most other regions) could shake up the EV markets in a few years - one of them being BYD in China. Another example could be Samsung from Korea or other large battery suppliers forward-integrating and building their own EVs.

    As I outlined in earlier articles, the exact timeline for EV adoption/uptake is still cloudy - there is a shortage of cheaper and readily available EV batteries, especially for cars with longer range (above 150-200 miles, in need of expensive, heavy battery packs).

    Until battery prices come down, there will most probably only be a slow EV/PHEV uptake. There are only two accelerators:

    Last but not least, China and the Chinese car market remains a wild card because of the

    All risk scenarios could heavily influence future car sales in China.

    PS: I will write another separate article on China's big potential credit bubble soon. Please also see my earlier entries on this important subject.

    ___________

    * For upper middle-class and high-end models, foreign vendors will retain their "usual" international EV brands within China. For example, the Zinoro EVs (JV with BMW participation) models will be priced below the "international" BMW i3 and sold using different distribution and dealer networks (not using BMW dealers and branding).

    ** This scenario is possible due to heavy congestion. People need to win a lottery to get a license plate in many Chinese cities today, this could spur sales of low-end and mass-market EVs in China and hurt sales of mass-market ICE cars in the future. (EVs and PHEVs are exempted from most of these regulations and auctions). Picture examples of traffic jams in big Chinese cities say more than a thousand words:

    (click to enlarge)

    news.nationalgeographic.com/news/news/en.../

    and

    www.chinawhisper.com/10-china-cities-wit.../

    However, the only "real" and long-term solution (since a rising middle class will not return to bicycles) for dense urban regions in countries like China in my view is a limit on cars in general:

    • Improved public mass-transport (efficient subways, a dense networks of local trains and EV buses; Japan implemented such infrastructure and mechanisms quite successfully in large urban regions, a possible model for other Asian countries)
    • Road tolls, road pricing and car license plate lotteries/auctions (China implemented some of these measures already, see links above)
    • Car sharing/car rental systems for personal transport needs (reducing car ownership per capita).

    Disclosure: I am short TSLA.

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Comments (45)
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  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » One interesting aspect of a possible "peak car" scenario (around 100 million new cars/year) is urbanization:

     

    " Today some three dozen cities around the world make the megacities list of more than 10 million population, including Tokyo, Chongqing, Shanghai, Beijing, São Paulo, New York, Mexico City, Mumbai, Osaka, Delhi and Dhaka, according to data compiled by Oxford Economics. By 2030 more than a dozen more will be added to the list. "

     

    http://cnb.cx/1gHSSNa

     

    Huge metro and urban areas with high density favor mass transport and make car ownership (garage space rental etc.) expensive.

     

    Another factor for a "peak car" scenario is a changing set of values among younger people (dwindling emotional attachment to cars / personal car ownership). One example from a recent UK study:

     

    "Young people today would rather have the latest smartphone than a flashy car. And the number of them who can drive is plummeting. Is Britain's love-affair with the car really over?"

     

    http://bit.ly/1gHSVbZ
    22 Mar, 02:03 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Since I only mentioned "dismal" with no numbers here are the exact numbers for China NEV sales in 2013:

     

    "Although heavy smog is an issue in many major Chinese cities, and there is a market waiting for solutions, you can't count on Tesla to make an electric revolution happen," said Yang Yusheng, a batteries expert and an academician at Chinese Academy of Engineering. "An electric sedan is not for everyone, not to mention Tesla is a premium brand reserved for high-end customers," he added.

     

    Tesla caused quite a stir in China with its splashy debut earlier this month, but Yang said it will be homegrown, low-speed electric vehicles that will ultimately steer the industry rather than the American upstart.

     

    (...)

     

    China's sales of new- energy vehicles stood at only 17,642 in 2013, which still represented a rise from the 12,791 sold the previous year. The 2013 numbers included 14,604 electric cars and 3,038 plug-in hybrid vehicles, China Association of Automobile Manufacturers data showed.

     

    Whether cheaper low-speed electric vehicles will be a major trump card for the Chinese remains unknown, but experts said the EV industry in China can grow in rural and suburban areas, where people are likely to have a garage for charging a vehicle, and then expand later into urban centers.

     

    http://bit.ly/1dbJXZC

     

    Note the last paragraph in the quote with the familiar issue of lack of home/overnight access in China I also discussed in my article (the same lack of a personal garage applies to many Japanese cities and urban areas, the other big car market in Asia).

     

    It should also be noted that many of these 18k NEVs are slow EVs. The 2013 sales numbers for faster, highway-capable NEVs are as follows and much lower than 18k:

     

    2013 Sales in China

     

    JAC iEV,2500
    BYD e6,1544
    BYD F3DM (PHEV),1005
    BAIC E-Series EV,710
    Roewe E50,406
    Zotye M300 EV,220
    Venucia e30,216
    BYD Qin (PHEV),142
    BAIC Senova EV,52

     

    For a comparison: 21-22 million conventional vehicles were sold in China in 2013 (see: http://bit.ly/1kSNv31 and other sources)

     

    PS: Since the BYD Qin alone already sold more plug-ins than the entire PHEV category last year the 2014 NEV numbers in China should look better, but will still only amount to a rounding number in total car sales.
    22 Mar, 01:03 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » More numbers and a comparison to Porsche (sales and sales network in China):

     

    "In terms of price, 180,000, or nearly 20 percent, of the luxury cars manufactured in China are priced under 300,000 yuan ($50,000). Of the 755,000 cars that were sold at prices above 300,000 yuan, the vast majority are priced below 600,000 yuan ($98,500). For example, all of Audi’s 531,000 units are priced below 564,000 yuan ($92,600) and most are priced in the 300,000 to 400,000 yuan range ($50,000 to $65,000). Of the luxury cars manufactured in China, only the Mercedes E300, the BMW 535 Li and the Volvo S80L 3.0 come with price tags above 600,000 yuan ($98,500) that are comparable to the proposed price for the Model S. Those three models had sales of less than 15,000 units in 2013.

     

    Compared to the vehicles manufactured in China, the imported luxury car models carry much higher sticker prices due to duties, taxes, transportation costs and the pricing policies of the car makers. For example, the Porsche 911 starts at 753,000 yuan ($123,645), and the Porsche Cayenne starts at 922,000 yuan ($151,400).

     

    To sell its cars in China, Porsche had 56 dealerships in the country as of last September, and the company plans to increase that number to over 100 within a year or two."

     

    http://onforb.es/1mp28OF

     

    PS: TSLA aims to open 10-12 stores in China in the same timeframe, so far it only has one store in Beijing.
    23 Mar, 04:06 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Also useful are some numbers on general energy consumption in China, see page 5 in this whitepaper about EVs in China:

     

    http://bit.ly/P3jBOy
    29 Mar, 02:03 AM Reply Like
  • solucky
    , contributor
    Comments (8124) | Send Message
     
    Interesting tales, i am exspecially surprised that we europeans have such a big lead in energy efficience.

     

    Thought it was smaller, at least one positive point from our high energy prices.
    29 Mar, 04:08 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I didn't discuss automated/auto-pilot cars in this article, also because the focus was on China/EVs.

     

    Some people think these cars might arrive much sooner (companies such as Nissan, GOOG and Daimler are leading research in this field).

     

    GOOG's Larry Page recently stated:

     

    "Google plans to launch its automated cars on the roads by 2017. The project has been a personal obsession for 18 years, he told the Ted audience.

     

    "It started when I was at college in Michigan. I was waiting for the bus and it was cold and snowing," he said.

     

    He believes that automated cars can help save lives - currently 20 million people are injured each ear in car accidents and in the US crashes are the biggest cause of death for the under 35s."

     

    http://bbc.in/1lbF1Xr

     

    But adoption and legal changes could take time in many countries.

     

    Automated cars require networked car first in my opinion. An automated car will have to find the next charging station, and "know" about the weather and traffic conditions and so on.

     

    I already discussed driverless/automated cars here in more detail:

     

    http://bit.ly/1hSnLkB

     

    This could again add new entrants to the car industry.
    23 Mar, 01:00 AM Reply Like
  • solucky
    , contributor
    Comments (8124) | Send Message
     
    I agree total with you , only want ad that Tesla might not have the brandname in china.....and they have no model with extended wheelbase like the others.

     

    If Chinese compare the model S with Audi A6 L, Eclass L its even expensiver. They start thanks local production 50% cheaper.
    23 Mar, 05:07 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Some new info on TSLA in China:

     

    http://onforb.es/1fY0087

     

    Apparently, the Model S will go on sale in August 2014 there.
    25 Mar, 12:05 PM Reply Like
  • solucky
    , contributor
    Comments (8124) | Send Message
     
    25k / year is a pretty hopefull idea, but they plan also to sell 10K / year in germany
    25 Mar, 12:11 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Yes, I don't believe in either of these sales projections until I see them (especially not in Germany, there seems to be no traction so far...but apparently Norway sales are still good for TSLA in 2014).

     

    PS: According to the Forbes article I linked to above, TSLA buyers will not get free license plates (maybe because it's not produced locally in China?) while Chinese car buyers get free license plates:

     

    http://bit.ly/1fY2ofa
    25 Mar, 12:14 PM Reply Like
  • solucky
    , contributor
    Comments (8124) | Send Message
     
    So far i read only local companies qualify for any subsidies.

     

    Norway will stay strong, but guess the Tesla sales will decline there too in Q3/Q4. At the moment they get a Tesla for the price of an well equipped Golf, a few might choose soon that they dont need so much car and buy an EGolf or I3 for 50% less.

     

    They are at least waiting for them.....

     

    http://bit.ly/1nXXKrv
    25 Mar, 01:57 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » My comment above should of course read:

     

    "while Chinese car buyers BUYING LOCAL CHINESE EVs get free license plates:"
    25 Mar, 02:38 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Here's a good example article with the problems facing TSLA, the car is not even covered in the free license plate agreement in Beijing:

     

    Model S buyers have to enter a license plate lottery alongside ICE car buyers...

     

    http://tinyurl.com/l25...

     

    With Zinoro, Denza, Venucia etc. (see my article above for details) mainstream EV competition is already very intense in China today and TSLA is selling into a small niche there given its price range.

     

    PS: Anyone who thinks China is not protecting their nascent industry and adopting knowledge using the forced JVs with Western and Japanese car companies is naive.
    23 Apr, 09:47 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » BYD is getting a big order from China. As I mentioned in my article, this makes sense:

     

    EV buses instead of more passenger cars in polluted and crowded Chinese cities !

     

    "BYD Receives Record Bus & Taxi Order; 2,000 Buses And 1,000 Taxis!"

     

    http://bit.ly/QnwJOH
    9 May, 03:28 PM Reply Like
  • solucky
    , contributor
    Comments (8124) | Send Message
     
    Yep indeed makes much more sense, i also would like a more individuell public transport..a bit like the system in Londons Airport
    9 May, 03:33 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Another interesting article on TSLA and China:

     

    Tesla Motors in China: Hype or Not

     

    http://onforb.es/1g9YBlB

     

    - The difficult process of getting a car and the waiting times is described in detail:

     

    "Tesla requires all buyers to have a dedicated parking space. It will arrange the dispatch of technicians to install an individual charging station at the parking space after receipt of the deposit."

     

    This proces will only improve once TSLA manufactures its cars in China - which looks years off.

     

    - Also see the comment about charging standards. I described this above as well, China now has its own plug system and standard. The comment in verbatim on Forbes.com:

     

    "Tesla is seeking partnerships with China’s two major power operators, State Grid Corp of China and China Southern Power Grid, to jointly construct charging stations, starting with Beijing and Shanghai.
    THE problem is that China has already published several technical standards on the charging station, but Tesla uses their own standards which are not compatible to others. Therefore, there is no way Chinese will allowed them to build these kind of special stations on public land along major roads."
    15 May, 09:39 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » And another alleged breakthrough from a company called "Power Japan plus", YT demo video:

     

    http://bit.ly/1k5OfU4

     

    As I mentioned in the blog entry above:

     

    "There's literally a new one [battery PR breakthrough] every other day, for example Sakti3 in March 2014. I will believe in a breakthrough when I see these technologies safely implemented in a mass-manufactured car for $30k or less."

     

    I only mentioned Power Japan Plus as another example because it recived significant press coverage:

     

    http://bit.ly/1k5OdeQ

     

    We will find out in a few years if this is it or another of those 90%+ PR announcements in the battery space that vanish with no further news and no commercialization * - or the rare single-digit "real deal".

     

    ______
    * Envia is the poster child of big PR announcements and claims and then silence because the promises couldn't be kept. Detailed backstory here:

     

    http://bit.ly/19f2EKl
    21 May, 02:20 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » And another one from Japan:

     

    Kyoto team develops new cathode material for high-energy-density rechargeable magnesium batteries

     

    http://bit.ly/1qUVfrD

     

    and

     

    http://bit.ly/1qUVcMK

     

    The standard procedure applies: Bookmark such announcements and come back in about 3-5 years what the progress is...usually it takes 10+ years of tests before commercial introduction is feasible.

     

    Or quoted from the link about Sakti3 batteries in the blog:

     

    "Further, things that work in a lab setting might still present difficulties in the manufacturing process. Since car OEMs are desperate to find ways to meet future Corporate Average Fuel Economy (NYSEARCA:CAFE), I would think they would jump on such technology if it holds promise.”"
    5 Aug, 12:59 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » New numbers for BYD, the battery expansion to 15 GWh within 18 months looks especially big (see last part of quote):

     

    "Last year [2013], BYD sold just 1,544 e6 electric cars, showed data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers. But this year, BYD aims to sell more than 20,000 Qin plug-in hybrids."

     

    ...

     

    "...this year, the governments of Beijing and Shanghai started to subsidize private purchases of green vehicles made by domestic companies from outside of those two cities. Wuhan, Xi'an and Guangzhou cities are widely expected to follow suit.

     

    Previously, BYD was eligible for such subsidies only in Shenzhen where the company is headquartered, a BYD spokesman said.

     

    Such local government initiatives have helped BYD deliver more than 3,000 Qins to customers since the car's December launch, with some 8,000 awaiting delivery, Li said.

     

    Green sales are also on the rise abroad, Li said, with orders for electric buses in North America - where BYD has a California assembly plant - as well as South America and Europe.

     

    Overall, BYD sold about half a million cars last year of which green cars accounted for less than 1 percent, showed CAAM data.

     

    "Sales are constrained by our battery production capacity," Li said. "If that issue is solved, sales can grow faster."

     

    BYD will double vehicle battery production capacity to more than 3 gigawatt-hours when a new factory in Shenzhen starts making batteries in July, Li said. Total capacity will rise to 15 gigawatt-hours by the end of 2015, he added."

     

    http://reut.rs/1k59bvk
    29 May, 04:01 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » News on EV sales and subsidies in China:

     

    "China only sold 7,000 electric automobiles in 2013

     

    Sales Likely To Increase, As Total Sudsidies Can Now Total $19,500 In Some Cities "

     

    http://aol.it/1m5BScs
    27 Jun, 03:46 PM Reply Like
  • solucky
    , contributor
    Comments (8124) | Send Message
     
    Thats really low, we will see how tesla perform...
    27 Jun, 05:01 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Some interesting statistics on traffic jams in China..

     

    "TomTom research reveals drivers in China lose nine working days per year due to traffic"

     

    "Looking at the just-compiled 2013 data, China's worst city for traffic, according to TomTom, is Tianjin (pictured above) with 56 percent average congestion. According to the company's metric that meant that the average travel time increased by 56 percent compared to a journey with no traffic delay. That figure skyrocketed to 95 percent during the evening peak, nearly doubling the duration spent on the road. The other two top cities were Hangzhou and Beijing with average gridlock of 47 percent and 43 percent, respectively.

     

    To compare, in TomTom's survey of North and South America with 2013 data, Los Angeles was considered the most congested city in the United States. It had average traffic levels of 36 percent and a peak of 75 percent during evening rush hour. However, that would only put it on par with China's 11th ranking city – Shenyang.

     

    Chinese cities have seriously tried to curb their congestion, but it hasn't seemed to help much. Shanghai, ranked seventh on the list, has considered congestion charges, and Beijing has tried both the fees and restricting vehicle registrations. According to TomTom, people from rural parts of China continue to stream into the cities to find jobs, and each one puts a further stress on the country's road network. Scroll down to read the company's release or visit TomTom's site to view the full results worldwide."

     

    http://aol.it/1zgKnpv
    5 Jul, 10:11 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » China and Germany just had high-level meetings to unify their charging infrastructure:

     

    http://bit.ly/1jV9fyH

     

    Another article on the agreement reached in July 2014:

     

    "China and Germany signed an agreement on Tuesday to use the same charging standard for electric vehicles, in hopes of accelerating the adoption of the new energy cars in the two countries.

     

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Minister of Industry and Information Technology Miao Wei watched as representatives of Germany's Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, BYD Co Ltd, BAIC Group and Changan Automobile Group of China, and joint venture brands Denza and Zinoro all shook hands.

     

    Under the agreement, every electric or new energy vehicle produced in one of the two countries must be equipped with the same charging plug, and the charging facilities established in the countries will all be based on the same standard.

     

    "There's huge potential in China's electric vehicle market. The one with the biggest market share will have the say in implementing the standard," said Merkel, indicating that the landmark agreement should start a trend of having an internationally unified charging standard.

     

    http://bit.ly/1jV9PfF

     

    The technical details remain to be seen until the end of 2014 (whether is closer to the current CCS or the GB/T standard)

     

    PS: It was also confirmed that China will not subsidize imported, foreign EVs until 2017:

     

    http://bit.ly/1oazRLW
    23 Jul, 08:56 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Here's another take on the upcoming DC charging standard wrangling in China...

     

    "China has a DC connector plug that it is promoting. But that lacks safety features that the European, U.S., and Japanese standards include. Also, the male and female parts on the Chinese DC connector are reversed, added Reeck.

     

    There is disagreement among the Chinese about this standard, he says. Some figure it is safe for passenger vehicles — though perhaps not for trucks — and should be released. Others think it better to wait for a standard that works for all kinds of vehicles.

     

    (...)

     

    So far China insists it wants its own standard. But in 2015, the Germans will “aggressively” demonstrate a combined China GB standard plug, says Reeck. Still, he figures China won’t have a DC standard formalized until 2016. And whether or not that will be compatible with international standards remains to be seen. "

     

    http://bit.ly/1l3oBwf

     

    My view is that either the current GB/T recommendation will prevail or that a mix of SAE and GB/T will be adopted (it's hard to see China choose the "pure" Western SAE CCS/Combo architecture for political reasons, otherwise it would have done so a long time ago).
    26 Jul, 02:48 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Mid-2014 news on subsidies for EVs in China:

     

    "The Chinese government is introducing new preferential pricing directives for electric vehicles in order to encourage the adoption of such vehicles in the country.

     

    According to a statement released last month by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), any electricity used by charging points will be billed under industrial tariffs and be exempt from base costs until 2020. This new price structure will apply to both public charging stations and personal charging outlets.

     

    Furthermore, local governments will offer financial subsidies as well as free sites for the installation of charge points, while electricity providers will be prohibited from charging fees to connect to the grid – all in a bid to increase the market competitiveness of electric vehicles.

     

    Already, “new energy” cars, including pure electric, plug-in and fuel-cell vehicles, are exempt from purchase tax until the end of 2017. With the addition of this new set of directives, China hopes to be on track to reach its goal of 500,000 electric vehicles on the road by next year – a goal that is integral to the country’s overall efforts to decrease its pollution levels."

     

    http://bit.ly/1m3Fl71

     

    PS: The purchase tax is 10% of the net value of the car, on top of that an E v buyer get grants like in other countries. Nissan, which is the source, is selling its LEAF EV in China under the Venucia brand: http://bit.ly/1m3GdZg
    15 Aug, 10:40 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » China is finally investing more in the charging infrastructure:

     

    "China is considering a 100B yuan ($16.25B) fund for electric-car chargers, according to Bloomberg."

     

    http://bit.ly/1AQIvn6

     

    It remains to be seen whether the fast DC charging will use the domestic GB/T standard for DC fast charging I discussed in the article - it looks likely since JVs like Denza already adopted this standard: http://bit.ly/1AQIsI5
    26 Aug, 09:20 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » PS: Denza is still expected to launch later this year. The new JV factory (BYD-Daimler) can only pump out around 40k vehicles per year, so hopes are not that high initially...

     

    http://on.wsj.com/VPsH4L

     

    Originally starting at around $60k, the car will cost buyers around $40k after heavy incentives and subsidies.

     

    Denza car sales will be interesting since it's the first higher-end and longer range domestic EV.
    28 Aug, 06:34 AM Reply Like
  • solucky
    , contributor
    Comments (8124) | Send Message
     
    At least i would be surprised if Tesla get something for there " exclusive chargers "
    26 Aug, 10:50 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Yes, I think China wants to push its own EV makers and its own DC charging system and plug (GB/T).

     

    At this point the entire fund is only a rumor (but Bloomberg is usually quite accurate):

     

    http://bloom.bg/YWvrPq

     

    We will probably know more soon...
    26 Aug, 02:40 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » In any case, the previous incentives have not worked well...

     

    "First, where does Beijing want to be and where is it now? In 2009, the government-established targets for pure electric and hybrid electric vehicles of 500,000 by 2015 and 5 million by 2020. Its original “ten cities, thousand vehicles” program, launched that same year, planned for ten cities to develop 1,000 electric vehicles each; by 2011, the list of cities had expanded to twenty-five. Subsidies of 50,000-60,000 yuan (US$8,000-9,600) were offered to consumers who purchased the cars. (By one account, however, central and local government subsidies can reach as high as US$16,500 on cars priced US$32,900-49,400.) By the end of 2012, however, only seven of the twenty-five cities had met their 1,000 car target. And in 2013, only 17,600 hybrid and electric vehicles (cars and buses) were sold. According to a NewsChina Magazine report in April 2014, “with one year to go, China is still about 480,000 units away from meeting its first stated target.”"

     

    http://onforb.es/VPpimp

     

    Some incentives were by region only (so even domestic Chinese automakers from other regions were blocked) and the 2015 goals and numbers will clearly not be met.

     

    It looks like China is simply throwing more money with a focus on charging stations with the new plan and see what sticks.
    28 Aug, 06:09 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » News regarding EV protectionism in China:

     

    "President Xi Jinping has been urging government agencies to buy domestic brands, key ones among them being BYD Co Ltd and SAIC Motor Corp."

     

    http://reut.rs/1lyO9H3

     

    The sales tax exemption for EVs also seems to apply only for domestic brands and (domestially built) JV car models at the moment:

     

    http://bit.ly/1lyOsBB
    3 Sep, 06:25 AM Reply Like
  • solucky
    , contributor
    Comments (8124) | Send Message
     
    18,5 K for a JV Audi/ BMW/ Ford is definetly an advantage against imported cars
    3 Sep, 08:41 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I'm sure Tesla will lobby hard to be included on the list in the future but I don't see why China wants to add foreign imported cars where no value is added in China.
    3 Sep, 11:09 AM Reply Like
  • solucky
    , contributor
    Comments (8124) | Send Message
     
    And companys that still have JV in china might have a better contact to the gouverment, beiing 20-30 years on the chinese market is a benefit i guess.
    3 Sep, 12:10 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » I agree. Good Chinese connections put "older" car companies with long business operations in China and existing local JVs at an advantage regarding tax code and subsidies etc.
    3 Sep, 01:46 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » The WSJ details the problems TSLA and others are facing when trying to install charging stations for clients:

     

    Tesla's China Challenge: Getting Chargers Installed

     

    http://bit.ly/1rnhrun

     

    See blog if you are not a subscriber:

     

    http://on.wsj.com/1rnhpCC
    29 Sep, 09:36 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Toyota will also launch an EV sub-brand in Chin by 2015, similar to the joint-ventures I listed in the article:

     

    "Toyota will launch a new sub-brand in China in 2015, it will be positioned under the Guangzhou-Toyota joint venture. The new sub-brand will be called Lingzhi in Chinese and Leahead in English. Leahead stands for ‘Leap Ahead’. The brand will focus on cheap electric cars aimed at young and hip car buyers in China."

     

    http://bit.ly/1sKc7PP

     

    This is remarkable (or speaks about the power of Chinese regulators) because Toyota doesn't believe in current-gen pure BEVs in the rest of the world and focuses on hybrids and hydrogen.

     

    PS: Or the first reports simply forgot to mention it's about hybrids, not cheap BEVs? We will know in late 2015.
    21 Oct, 07:20 AM Reply Like
  • solucky
    , contributor
    Comments (8124) | Send Message
     
    or toyota was forced to do something :)
    21 Oct, 09:27 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » It could very well be just an appeasment exercise for Chinese official and rules (like the RAV EV Toyota built in very small numbers for California and then discontinued).
    21 Oct, 02:02 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » An older 2014 interview in Chinese Media with Tesla CEO Musk (there are English subtitles):

     

    http://bit.ly/1tBYVyb

     

    Lots of estimates and promises about opening a factory (likely a JV due to regulations) in China in just 3-4 years.
    28 Oct, 03:11 PM Reply Like
  • solucky
    , contributor
    Comments (8124) | Send Message
     
    normal Musk interview :)
    28 Oct, 03:20 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » A good general overview on the future of cars in the latest McK Quarterly:

     

    "A road map to the future for the auto industry
    As the sector transforms itself, will the automobile keep its soul?"

     

    http://bit.ly/1tz9e6g

     

    Exhibit 1 shows the impressive growth of the Chinese car market in recent years (now the biggest car market in the World, ahead of the US).
    3 Nov, 08:13 AM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » New manufacturers such as Yinlong (and not yet a household name outside of China) have big plans for NEVs in China:

     

    "After huge investments in technology, Yinlong will see its capital pressure lighten in the first half of next year, when it plans to list on Hong Kong's stock exchange, and then list in Shanghai or Shenzhen in the second half, according to Ao.

     

    The company aims to lift its annual output of electric vehicles to 50,000 units by 2017 and 500,000 by 2022.

     

    It is also developing taxis and sport utility vehicles, and is in talks with some major manufacturers on strategic cooperation.

     

    It has sold a few buses that were re-branded in foreign markets with domestic production requirements for electric vehicles and expects exports to generate more than 20 percent of its revenue in the future."

     

    http://bit.ly/1tEXXBF
    4 Nov, 02:21 PM Reply Like
  • solucky
    , contributor
    Comments (8124) | Send Message
     
    Guess we see a bunch of new low end EV producers, but if i look to the price from the Denza they need huge improvements for massmarket.

     

    Germany at the moment Y/Y plug ins + 100% BEVs -14%

     

    Not to promising for an unsubsidized market
    4 Nov, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • Tales From The Future
    , contributor
    Comments (5018) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » A new player in China, still in planning stages:

     

    "Chinese Internet Company Leshi To Expand Into Electric Cars"

     

    http://onforb.es/1zOUKQ6

     

    As I outlined in many Instablogs, I guess we will some new entrants from Asia (for example also Samsung or other battery makers forward integrating in the future).
    10 Dec, 09:12 AM Reply Like
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