Global Auto Forum: What radical changes will the EV bring to the auto industry?
Published October 20, 2011
As everyone knows, the arrival of electric vehicles to the mass market will happen sooner rather than later. But are EVÃ¢s the beÃ¢?all-and-end-all of the new energy race? Are there other potential fuels or alternatives available? At the World Auto Forum in Chengdu a briefing session was held to discuss what changes the oncoming wave of electric cars would bring to the global automotive market. The session was chaired by Mr. Yang Shi Min from the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and joining him on stage were Professor Dr Stefan Bratzel from the Center of Automotive Studies at GermanyÃ¢s Applied Sciences University, Chen Yu Dong, the president of Bosch China, Mr. Lian Yu Bo, the Deputy CEO of BYD, Nissan Vice President Mr. Takashi Nishibayashi, and also Mr. Chen Bin Bo from Dongfeng-Honda.
A Slow Market
Dr. Bretzel believes that electric cars should be a game-changer for the traditional car market, although he did warn that EVÃ¢s are still in their early days and there are many issues on the road ahead, but traditional petrol and diesel cars are likely to stay in the mainstream for quite some time. From his own research he believes that electric cars will remain at about 5% of the market by 2020, while 10% will be hybrids. Dr. BratzelÃ¢s opinion won the agreement of Mr. Chen at Bosch, who also believes that home users wonÃ¢t seriously take up hybrid and EVÃ¢s until 2020 at the earliest whilst he believes it will be around 2025 until EVÃ¢s are able to take 10% of the market. Mr. Chen believes that although Bosch is largely focused on supplying parts to traditional gasoline manufacturers they are prepared to take on the EV industry should the demand be there in the future.
Chinese manufacturers may be lagging behind their international competitors in the traditional gasoline engine race, but it seems they are on par or even ahead of their rivals in the EV game Ã¢? with manufacturers such as BYD already having small-scale production of road going electric vehicles on the road. NissanÃ¢s Mr. Nishibayashi said that batteries are the core of the EV and the are arguably one of the most important aspects of an EV, but companies should not just focus on the battery technology alone when developing a new car.
BYDÃ¢s Vice President Mr. Lian Yu Bo announced that BYD has already developed the F3DM and also the E6 pure electric car as well as the pure electric K9 bus, all of which are in long term testing in daily situations. He also revealed that Daimler has sent more than 60 engineers to BYDÃ¢s headquarters in Shenzhen to work on the new joint venture electric car. BYD have put 300 engineers to work on the project, which is expected to produce results in 2012. Mr. Chen laid his own thoughts out, saying that the government should work faster to set up a standard for the charging issue, which will help advance the industry and technology a great deal.
Mr. Chen Bin Bo disagreed with the other delegates, he believes a mixture of hybrid and more efficient engines will make up future car sales. He went on to announce that some Honda hybrid models are undergoing localization at Dongfeng Honda.