Recently, the largest public centralized charging station in Henan Province — — "United Fast Charging" was put into operation in Zhengzhou, and all charging piles were charged with high-power DC fast charging, which can meet the requirements of charging more than 100 new energy vehicles at the same time. The picture shows the driver preparing to charge the new energy vehicle. Photo by Zhang Tao (Zhongjing Vision)
After the subsidy retreat, domestic new energy vehicles will not only face competition with traditional fuel vehicles, but also compete with foreign new energy vehicle brands. Impressing consumers with suitable and high-quality products may be the most effective means for new energy vehicle manufacturers to resolve market risks. The core of competition among new energy automobile manufacturers is the competition of product technology and service.
With the end of the first half of 2019, new energy vehicles have truly entered the post-subsidy era.
Chen Shihua, Assistant Secretary-General of China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said that the current new energy vehicle market is still a market stimulated by policies, and with the support of national and local policies, it is in a rapid rising cycle. The decline of this subsidy is expected to have little long-term impact on the industry, and the previous prediction of the annual production and sales of 1.6 million new energy vehicles in 2019 will remain unchanged.
After waiting and seeing, the price increase is inevitable.
June 25th is the last day of the switching period between the subsidy policy for new energy vehicles in 2018 and the subsidy policy for new energy vehicles in 2019. Since June 26th, consumers have enjoyed the most subsidies or reduced them by 58%.
"The withdrawal of subsidies mainly takes into account that the development of the new energy automobile industry has begun to take shape." Zhou Yi, assistant researcher of the Ministry of Industry of the State Council Development Research Center, said. Before 2014, the output of new energy vehicles was very small, less than 20,000. In 2014, the output jumped to 78,000. In 2018, the sales of new energy vehicles in China reached 1.256 million, accounting for more than half of the world’s total, with remarkable achievements.
In fact, the rapid growth of new energy vehicles in China in the past is inseparable from subsidies. According to the "Announcement on the Preliminary Review of Subsidies for the Promotion and Application of New Energy Vehicles in 2016 and Previous Years" published on the website of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology in March this year, nearly 12.6 billion yuan of subsidies will be distributed to nearly 100 enterprises, of which BYD will become the biggest beneficiary with 2.689 billion yuan, and Geely will rank second with 1.111 billion yuan.
With the subsidy for new energy vehicles declining year by year, independent car companies will naturally be affected to varying degrees, especially whether the price of new energy vehicles will increase, which has become the focus of consumers’ attention.
The reporter recently visited some 4S stores in Beijing, such as Chery, BYD and GAC New Energy, and has not seen a clear price increase notice. They are all selling cars at the subsidy standard of 2018.
Chen Shihua said, "At present, the profit rate of new energy vehicles is very low, and it is difficult for car companies themselves to bear the reduction of subsidies." "After the subsidy has dropped, the cost of car companies has increased substantially. If consumers do not accept the price increase, it will be difficult for market demand to start effectively." Cui Dongshu, Secretary-General of the National Passenger Car Market Information Association, said that the subsidy for new energy vehicles is much lower than the cost reduction of car companies, and the profit pressure of new energy car companies is greater. Car companies should not only cover manufacturing costs, but also consider the capital cost of subsidies that are not in place, so they will definitely raise prices.
Competition will be more intense.
"In recent years, in addition to the increase in quantity, the quality of new energy vehicles and the development of industrial chain have also been greatly improved." Zhou Yi said.
From the quality point of view, the battery life is generally on the rise. A-class electric vehicles with a standard cruising range of more than 400 kilometers have become the mainstream, and the intelligent interconnection is also developing continuously. The level of automatic driving test is getting higher and higher, and the localization replacement rate and globalization level of parts and components are also constantly improving. From the industrial chain point of view, the upstream and downstream industrial chains of new energy vehicles are more complete, and a number of excellent enterprises have emerged in the fields of power batteries, non-battery accessories and other parts, complete vehicles such as independent brands and new Internet forces, and manufacturing and operation of charging piles.
And the fast-growing new energy automobile industry will be affected after stepping on the "brake" of subsidy retreat?
"The challenge is that the competition will be more intense in the future." Zhou Yi said that after the withdrawal of subsidies, domestic new energy vehicles not only face competition with traditional fuel vehicles, but also with foreign new energy vehicle brands, and there is fierce competition within domestic new energy vehicles.
Lu Fuyong, a lecturer in industrial economy and national economy in university of international business and economics, has been paying attention to the development of new energy automobile industry in recent years. He told reporters that in the era of subsidies for new energy vehicles, there are four aspects of market risks: First, the competition in the overall market will be further intensified, and the subsidy policy will make the competition more intense, and the industry will gradually move toward the survival of the fittest. In this process, traditional car companies still have certain competitive advantages. Second, the real demand of consumers will gradually become clear. In the past, due to the support of policies, the market has always overestimated the real demand of consumers, and it is very likely that the market demand will fall back in the short term. The third is the risk of capital. In recent years, the new forces of car-making have risen rapidly with the help of capital. As the sales of new energy vehicles move from hot to stable, there is uncertainty whether these capitals will still be active in the industry. The fourth is the technical service risk.
Lu Fuyong believes that how to grasp the real needs of consumers in the post-subsidy era and impress consumers with suitable and high-quality products may be the most effective means for new energy vehicle manufacturers to resolve market risks. "In the future, the competition of new energy automobile manufacturers will gradually shift to the comprehensive value competition of products, and the core is the competition of product technology and service."
Lu Fuyong said that with the growth of new energy vehicles and the extension of service life, traffic and safety accidents related to new energy vehicles will further increase, and the short service life of new technologies will increase product risks; At the same time, new energy vehicles recalled due to product quality problems are also accumulating. The core to solve these problems is still to improve product quality and technical services, which is also the main difficulty faced by new energy vehicle manufacturers.
Intelligentization will become the commanding height.
"In 2019, China’s automobile market will still run at a low speed, but new energy vehicles will continue to grow. New energy automobile products should be customized in design, intelligent in function and platformized in development. " Shi Jianhua, Deputy Secretary-General of China Automobile Industry Association, said that with the rapid advancement of scientific and technological revolution, the new generation of information technologies such as 5G, cloud computing and artificial intelligence are deeply integrated with automobile transportation and other fields, which constantly promotes the formation of multi-dimensional information interaction networks between cars, roads, people and clouds, and people’s production and lifestyle are undergoing profound changes. Smart cars have become the commanding heights of the future development of the automobile industry.
Shi Jianhua believes that in the future, the automobile industry should take green and intelligence as the development direction, and will focus on breaking through the key components of fuel cell technology and related industrial chains, advance the research and development and industrial application of intelligent driving technology, enhance the green and intelligent level of the industry, and accelerate the development of new energy and intelligent networked vehicles.
Zhou Yi said that at present, there is a trend of "interconnection, autonomous driving, sharing and electrification" in the global automobile industry, and the networking of vehicles, autonomous driving and electric vehicles are closely related, and with the rise and application of 5G technology, it is expected that the application scenarios of electric vehicles under 5G will be more abundant in the future. In this context, the new energy vehicle market will be polarized in the future, and a few car companies will stand out because of their technical and cost advantages.
"Whether new technologies and new industrial formats such as autonomous driving, car networking, intelligent transportation and driverless taxis can be commercialized on a large scale depends entirely on many factors such as cost, technology maturity and consumer acceptance." Zhou Yi said, but what is certain is that China has taken the lead in international exploration in these fields due to its huge market scale and abundant capital market, and it is expected to lead the global development in the future. (Economic Daily China Economic Net reporter Liu Wei)