China kicks off the clean energy competition, who will lead the way?

Issuing time:2017-10-06 12:39

As the traditional fuel vehicle delisting has just begun, China's new energy vehicle market has entered a new stage of competition.

On September 13, the "Implementation Plan on Expanding the Production of Biofuel Ethanol and Promoting the Use of Ethanol Gasoline for Vehicles" (hereinafter referred to as the "Plan") jointly issued by 15 departments including the National Development and Reform Commission and the National Energy Administration officially announced that ethanol The nationwide popularization of gasoline is scheduled for 2020.

Just a week after the release of the "Proposal", that is, on September 20, Shanghai City preemptively released the "Shanghai Fuel Cell Vehicle Development Plan", which clarified the development tasks of fuel cell vehicles in Shanghai, including building an application-driven development model and planning hydrogenation. Website construction, construction of public service platforms, creation of industrial parks, implementation of major special projects, establishment of industrial funds, etc.

This should be good news for Toyota, which will conduct hydrogen fuel power demonstration in China next month. It is related to the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle "Mirai", which is positioned as the pillar of the next generation of environmentally friendly vehicles, and is also developing a priority timetable for entering China.

In fact, in the 2017 government work report, the term "clean energy vehicles" has already appeared. This started in 2013 and appeared in the work report of this term of government. Some analysts pointed out that this is due to the fact that the government has a more comprehensive and scientific understanding of the concept of "new energy vehicles", and on the other hand, it is also hoped that domestic consumers can have a better understanding of this.

In foreign countries, the meaning of new energy vehicles is "clean energy vehicles", including electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, diesel vehicles, natural gas vehicles, hydrogen fuel vehicles, methanol vehicles and other aspects. Especially when global energy consumption is too dependent on fossil energy, it has become the consensus of all countries to further increase the proportion of clean energy.

China is currently the largest market for new energy vehicles in the world, and the responsibilities of reducing automobile dependence on oil and improving fuel economy have long been urgent.

Behind the promotion of ethanol gasoline

On September 13, "ethanol gasoline" suddenly became a popular keyword in people's search. On the same day, a "Proposal" jointly issued by 15 departments including the National Development and Reform Commission and the National Energy Administration clearly stated that the use of ethanol gasoline for vehicles will be promoted nationwide in 2020. As soon as the news came out, "ethanol gasoline" came into people's eyes quickly and frequently.

It is understood that ethanol gasoline for vehicles refers to the addition of a certain proportion of biofuel ethanol (also known as fuel alcohol) to gasoline. According to our country's regulations, the figure is 10%. At present, 11 provinces (including Heilongjiang, Henan, Jilin, Liaoning, Anhui, and Guangxi provinces (districts) and 31 cities in Hebei, Shandong, Jiangsu, Inner Mongolia, and Hubei provinces) have piloted the promotion of ethanol gasoline. , The consumption of ethanol gasoline has accounted for 1/5 of the total national gasoline consumption in the same period.

According to the person in charge of the National Energy Administration, the logic behind the introduction of this plan is to use expired corn and waste straw as raw materials to produce clean gasoline and help solve problems such as smog. At the same time, more importantly, the development of biofuel ethanol can improve my country's ability to regulate grain production, inventory and prices, and establish long-term, stable and controllable processing and transformation regulation channels for bulk agricultural products.

Relevant data show that as of now, my country's annual consumption of biofuel ethanol is nearly 2.6 million tons, and the industry scale ranks third in the world. However, compared with the United States, which currently consumes 45.54 million tons of ethanol annually, there is still a huge gap.

For this reason, the "Plan" also clearly plans the development plan for the next ten years: "By 2020, the use of ethanol gasoline for vehicles will be promoted nationwide, and full coverage will be basically achieved. The market-oriented operation mechanism will be initially established, and advanced bio-liquid fuels will be innovated The initial construction of the system, the demonstration operation of 50,000 tons of cellulosic fuel ethanol, and the overall development of the biofuel ethanol industry have reached the international advanced level. By 2025, strive to achieve large-scale production of cellulosic ethanol, advanced bio-liquid fuel technology, equipment and industries It will reach the international level as a whole and form a more complete market-oriented operation mechanism.”

"Ethanol has a relatively high oxygen content. Compared with gasoline, it can burn more fully and emit less pollutants. Moreover, adding 10% ethanol can reduce emissions by more than 10%, and the fuel consumption of the car will also be reduced. From the point of view of energy saving and emission reduction, it is definitely beneficial." After affirming the advantages of ethanol gasoline, Yin Chengliang, deputy dean of the Automotive Engineering Research Institute of Shanghai Jiaotong University, also expressed some concerns to the Times Weekly reporter: "In the future, the country will take What to make ethanol and how to draw on the lessons and lessons of history will be key."

On the other hand, consumers are more concerned about whether ethanol gasoline will have a certain impact on vehicle performance and fuel consumption after the ethanol gasoline is fully popularized.

"Ethanol is water-soluble. After long-term use, the metal parts of the engine and other parts are prone to rust, and the expansion of non-metallic parts is also prone to aging and damage. This will also increase the cost of the vehicle. In addition, ethanol is also relatively volatile. After entering, the power of the vehicle will drop." Yin Chengliang analyzed to the Times Weekly reporter.

"Regarding ethanol gasoline, some provinces have already implemented it. According to past experience, we can also use ethanol gasoline for models that use gasoline. At the same time, we are also conducting further discussions with Toyota in consideration of the best performance of the car." GAC Toyota said Times Weekly reporter said.

BYD also expressed similar views on this: "First of all, many provinces and cities in China have already adopted ethanol gasoline; secondly, the vehicles we currently sell in these cities are still in relatively good operating condition."

According to the target given by the National Development and Reform Commission's "Renewable Energy Medium and Long-term Development Plan", by 2020, the annual utilization of biofuel ethanol in my country will reach 10 million tons. In the foreseeable future, in order to achieve this goal, in addition to price issues, a series of related supporting measures such as market mechanisms and supervision need to be further improved.

The race for fuel cells begins

Relevant data show that from January to July 2017, China's dependence on foreign crude oil reached 69.39%. Behind the country's active promotion of ethanol gasoline, it is actually trying to improve China's energy structure and reduce its dependence on crude oil.

Chuan Fu, chairman of BYD, said in an interview with the media that China is a country with more coal and less oil. At present, Chinese consumers use two tons of oil a year to buy a car, and 62% of these two tons of oil are imported. . Reducing dependence on oil is actually beneficial to China's oil security and energy security. Therefore, he boldly predicted that 2030 will be the time node for the full popularization of electric vehicles in China.

Of course, this speculation is based on Xin Guobin, vice minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, who stated on September 9 that China has started research on the timetable for the suspension of production and sales of traditional energy vehicles. Although China has not given a specific timetable for the delisting of traditional fuel vehicles, one fact that is certain is that China's support for the development of new energy vehicles is increasing day by day. At the same time, regarding the extension of "new energy vehicles", the government is also trying to break the inherent impression of "electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles" in consumers' minds.

In this year's "Two Sessions", the government specifically proposed the promotion of "clean energy vehicles" instead of "new energy vehicles" in the work report. This just shows that the government has a more comprehensive and scientific understanding of the concept of "new energy vehicles". In fact, the meaning of new energy vehicles in foreign countries is "clean energy vehicles", including electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, diesel vehicles, natural gas vehicles, hydrogen fuel vehicles, methanol vehicles and other aspects.

In fact, under the imminent implementation of the new energy "double points" policy and China's ambitious new energy vehicle production and sales plan, major automakers are accelerating the launch of various new energy vehicle projects. According to a recent research report released by McKinsey, Chinese automakers produced a total of 375,000 electric vehicles (EVs) in 2016, accounting for 43% of global EV production, exceeding the global share of 40% in 2015.

Some analysts pointed out that after the hot sales of electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles may become the arena for various automakers in China's new energy vehicle market.

At the 2017 TEDA Automobile Forum held on September 8, Xu Chaoqian, deputy director of the High-tech Development and Industrialization Department of the Ministry of Science and Technology, mentioned that the international environment attaches great importance to hydrogen fuel, and China will continue to promote hydrogen energy strategic goals: "2017 The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Science and Technology, and the National Development and Reform Commission jointly issued a mid-to-long-term development plan for the automotive industry, proposing to gradually expand the scope of fuel cell vehicle (FCEV) pilot demonstrations. In terms of standards and regulations, my country’s hydrogen fuel regulations and testing platforms are gradually improving.”

Ye Shengji, deputy secretary-general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, also publicly stated: "We are actively exploring the diversification of fuels. We not only hope that energy can replace traditional energy through electric energy, but also hope to develop in other alternative fuels."

According to the plan in the "Energy-saving and New Energy Vehicle Technology Roadmap" released by the state last year, by 2030, the sales scale of fuel vehicles will reach the level of one million vehicles.

Encouraged by policies, the enthusiasm of major automobile manufacturers is slowly being ignited. Since the beginning of this year, China's hydrogen fuel cells have entered the industrialization layout, and SAIC, FAW and Dongfeng have all begun to plan and produce 100-level fuel cell special vehicles and put them on the market. At the same time, Toyota, which has successfully developed models for the private market two years ago, is also planning to build a professional hydrogen refueling station in China in October and start power demonstration tests.

However, it is foreseeable that although hydrogen fuel has natural advantages, problems such as the construction of hydrogen refueling stations, the improvement of technology and cost, the shortage of core suppliers of fuel cells and hydrogen supply systems, and the lack of specific industry standards will all hinder the development of hydrogen fuel. Popularization and promotion of fuel cells in China.

On September 20, the "Shanghai Fuel Cell Vehicle Development Plan" was first issued, clarifying the development tasks of fuel cell vehicles in Shanghai, including building an application-driven development model, planning the construction of hydrogen refueling stations, building public service platforms, creating industrial parks, implementing major Special projects, establishment of industrial funds, etc.

"If Shanghai does not introduce such a plan, once the industry starts to rise in 2020, we will become 'get up early and catch up late.'" Gan Pin, deputy director of the Shanghai Science and Technology Commission, said in an interview with the media, my country is an important potential market for fuel cell vehicles in the world. If China lags behind others in this field, the accumulated advantages in the field of pure electric and plug-in hybrid power will not be sustainable.

who can win

What we can see is that the current international development of future power has always adopted a method of coexistence of multiple routes. For example, the hydrogen fuel and hybrid power of the Japanese automobile industry are relatively mature, while methanol vehicles are available in South America, and French automobiles are also developing air hybrid power. In the case of increasingly severe environmental governance situation, China's auto industry is also exploring the possibility of multiple routes.

Under the new wave of new energy vehicles in China, for enterprises, mastering the reserves of various technical lines may be the key to running out in the future.

This is especially evident in Geely Automobile under the leadership of "technical maniac" Li Shufu. Now, Geely Automobile, which has mastered the three technical routes of EV, PHEV and HEV, is planning to rely on the FE platform of mid-to-high-end pure electric vehicles, the basic modular structure of small exclusive pure electric vehicles PE and CMA mid-level vehicles, and vigorously promote the rapid development of new energy strategies. implement.

On September 1, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology released the 8th batch of "Recommended Models for the Promotion and Application of New Energy Vehicles" in 2017. In terms of the product layout of passenger car companies, Geely Automobile ranked first with 47 models. This has obviously laid a solid foundation for Geely Automobile, which strives to achieve more than 90% of the overall sales of new energy vehicles by 2020.

In addition, for Li Shufu, who vigorously called for the promotion of methanol vehicles at the National Two Sessions, Geely will continue to achieve success in the field of methanol vehicles in the future.

"We have developed 4 models of methanol power and 14 complete vehicle products, breaking through the bottleneck of the core technology of the fuel supply system and key components, and overcoming technical problems such as cold start, fuel supply and key components such as high temperature resistance and corrosion resistance. The development of high compression ratio methanol power and the exploration of turbocharging and in-cylinder direct injection methanol power are being implemented, which will make the product more efficient and environmentally friendly." Geely told the Times Weekly reporter that Geely, which has 12 years of experience in methanol research and development, has now released to the market It has launched products with mature technology, and has surpassed traditional gasoline vehicles in terms of safety, economy, power, environmental protection and reliability.

Today's continuous innovation and application of technology has made Geely clearly stated in its "Blue Geely" strategy released in 2015 that by 2020, Geely's new energy vehicles will save 4.2 million tons of oil and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 3 million tons per year.

At the same time, SAIC, Chery and BAIC are other passenger car companies that focus on developing clean energy as well as Geely. Among them, the e950 fuel cell sedan launched by SAIC Roewe can use "power battery + hydrogen fuel cell system" as a dual power source, and the mileage of the vehicle at a constant speed can reach 400 kilometers.

In addition, major passenger car and special vehicle manufacturers, such as Yutong, Foton, King Long, CRRC, Qingnian Automobile, FAW, etc., have intensively deployed fuel cell vehicles.

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