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OEMs ramping up efforts in hybrid technologies
Mary From Gasgoo| November 30 , 2020

Beijing (Gasgoo)- Instead of relying solely on electric vehicles, China will give more weight to hybrid vehicles so as to achieve emission and fuel consumption targets.

Energy-saving and New Energy Vehicle Technology Roadmap 2.0 (hereinafter referred to as Technology Roadmap 2.0), released on October 27th , says that the carbon emission of the auto industry are expected to peak around 2028 ahead of the country’s carbon reduction commitment, and the mission will be 20% less on the basis of the peak.

In order to meet increasingly stricter emission standard, it is essential to improve vehicles’ fuel efficiency. But it does not necessarily mean that the industry can only rest on battery electric vehicles. According to the roadmap, as of 2035, new energy vehicles will account for half of the country’s new vehicles and the other half will be hybrid cars. Hybrid vehicle is another approach.

The roadmap said that in the next 5 to 10 years, traditional internal-combustion vehicles will remain an important part in the auto industry, so to raise the share of energy-saving vehicles will be an important guarantee for the auto industry to reduce energy consumption, alleviate environmental pollution and ensure energy security.

In September, sales of energy-efficient vehicles, including those with 48V systems and hybrid vehicles, jumped 167% year on year to 82,000 units. In the same month, sales of battery electric vehicles were about 100,000 units.

Comparatively speaking, hybrid technologies are much more mature and at the moment, suitable for China’s market. They can help users to save fuel, and cause less range and charge anxieties, two main concerns for consumers to buy electric vehicles at current stage.

As a result, companies will pay more attention to products with hybrid systems. Traditional automakers in China may expect the hybrid will take up more shares in the industry. Accordingly, most of them have ramped up the investment in relevant technologies to accelerate the development, according to Ye Shengji, deputy secretary general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM). Many automakers, such as FAW, Dongfeng, SAIC, Chery and BYD, have finished the development of sample vehicles, some of which have hit the market in small scale. GAC Group aims to make its Trumpchi brand focus on hybrid technologies.

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Photo credit: Geely Auto

On November 20, Geely Holding and Daimler AG announced plans to co-work on developing highly efficient powertrain systems for new-generation hybrid vehicle and export the engine from China. The parties see efficient drivetrain technologies as vital to the industry’s transformation and will help to accelerate the transition to emission-free driving. The second-generation hybrid products from the Chinese automaker will hit the market next year with improved efficiency.

According to Xu Haidong, vice chief engineer of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM), Chinese automakers have their own merits in hybrid technologies. On the one hand, they have been conducting reach and development in relevant fields for many years and are able to overcome certain difficulties in core technologies; on the other hand, with the increase in sales, the cost in the application of technologies will be cut down so that hybrid vehicles will win more consumers.

When local automakers are ramping up efforts in enhancing the competitiveness in hybrid area, many global automakers also waste no time in trying to expand shares in the largest auto market. For example, Nissan will reportedly introduce 5 or 6 hybrid models in the coming 3 years, including the hybrid version of the Sylphy.

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