During an event held this week regarding Chinese-European cooperation, Li Ping, the vice chairman of leading battery firm Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL), said: “For the development of the industry as a whole, we believe that the replacement of internal-combustion engine automobiles with intelligent, pure-electric vehicles is irreversible, and that the penetration rate of pure EVs will far exceed current assumptions by 2025.”
Li spoke about three phenomena in the Chinese electric car market. First, the country’s EV industry has shifted from a government-driven to a product-driven environment.
Li said that the Chinese government has been advocating electric power for the past two decades due to the country’s energy mix. After a decade-long policy introduction period, the penetration rate of pure-electric vehicles in China’s new car sales exceeded 21% in the first half of this year, and exceeded 26% in July. “Three years ago, our estimate for the Chinese market was an over 20% penetration rate for EVs by 2025. The actual number will be much higher than our expectations. And China’s share of the global electric vehicle market surpassed 50% in the first half of this year,” said Li.
The second phenomenon is that “when Chinese consumers buy cars today, they will have a deep impression that most of the coolest cars with the best performance are pure electric, and there are few better passenger cars based on traditional internal combustion engine technology,” Li said. The Chinese market for intelligent and electric vehicles has a large number of participants with diverse backgrounds.
The third phenomenon is that there are many application scenarios in China that may not appear in other countries. “For example, the vast majority of Chinese buses are pure electric, and many sanitation trucks and muck trucks are also moving toward pure-electric models. In the vast majority of ports in China, we can see lots of unmanned pure electric robots, like mines.”
As for the current challenges in the pure electric vehicle market, Li Ping believes that one is the convenience of charging, while the other is insurance and second-hand car pricing.
Li Ping was also asked at the forum what CATL thought about the field of robots. “We will focus on service robots, not industrial robots. The complexity and underlying software algorithms of the service robot can iterate on top of autonomous driving.”