Fighting for glory: New energy vehicles cause car giants to fight

The North American Auto Show was held recently. In addition to the eye-catching new technologies such as autonomous driving, the new energy field is the trend. A number of traditional car companies have intensively launched new energy vehicles, hoping to compete with Tesla.

Market participants said that the development of new energy vehicles will become more and more competitive.

New energy vehicles compete

In front of the opening of the North American car, major auto companies began to release new new energy vehicles, which can be described as exciting, not only for electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, but also for more complete hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

GM announced the Chevrolet CheVyBolt pure electric car at the previous CES Consumer Electronics Show, and subsequently announced the Bolt electric car motor and battery specifications at the North American Auto Show. GM announced that the Chevrolet Bolt will enter the US market, which has a range of 200 miles (about 321 kilometers) and is priced at only $30,000 (about 195,000 yuan).

According to reports, ChevyBolt will be equipped with a more powerful battery, which is manufactured by LGChem of South Korea. ChevyBolt will compete with Tesla's upcoming Model3. Current news indicates that Tesla's $35,000 Model3 electric car will be available in 2017. According to people attending the exhibition, GM's hatchback ChevyBolt concept car, which will be mass-produced in 2017, looks more like a so-called "crossover", integrated SUV, sedan, MPV and pickup. And so on the advantages of a variety of models. In addition, the ChevyBolt will travel more than four times as long as the old ChevyVolt.

According to industry insiders, GM executives have included Bolt in the high-capacity Chevrolet series, hoping to enhance the brand image through these initiatives and use Bolt to compete in the global competition, including competing in international markets such as China. It is not known whether the future of cars similar to Bolt will be integrated into brands such as Opel, Cadillac and Buick. In fact, in recent years, General Motors has been insisting on focusing on the development of new technologies such as new energy. Not long ago, General Motors just launched a $75,000 Cadillac ELR electric car, but this car failed to impact Tesla's dominance in the electric car field, after the launch of the Cadillac ELR electric car, consumers Still racing to buy Tesla's ModelS car.

Toyota's sub-brand Scion in the United States launched the hybrid C-HR, which is mainly for the advanced military North American market. The C-HR production version is positioned as a small SUV, built on a TNGA platform. The new car will be powered by a hybrid system and is expected to be powered by Toyota's new 1.2T three-cylinder turbocharged engine plus electric motor. In addition, in the future C-HR production version will expand into other markets and become Toyota's first small SUV.

Hydrogen fuel vehicle

The Wall Street Journal commented that although plug-in hybrid cars and pure electric vehicles will be the mainstream trend of new energy vehicles in the future, car companies have not given up on the research and development of other new energy vehicles. At this exhibition, hydrogen fuel-powered vehicles emerged as the focus.

According to media reports, the head of GM told the media at the show that GM is still investing heavily in the research and development of hydrogen fuel vehicles as the first company to conduct research and development in the hydrogen fuel field. The future car will be a bipolar development, the car will be driven by electric power, and the high-powered car will probably be more suitable for hydrogen fuel drive. GM is working with Honda to develop and share hydrogen fuel vehicles, and production results are expected after 2020.

From the previous investment and products, Toyota, Honda, and GM have advantages in hydrogen fuel new energy vehicles, but Audi's Audi has released a hydrogen fuel cell concept SUV at the auto show, attracting Concerns from all parties. The car, called H-tronquattro, uses hydrogen fuel cells as the power source. It is powered by a fifth-generation fuel cell and a lithium-ion battery pack placed on the chassis of the vehicle. It consumes 1kg of hydrogen per 100 kilometers and has a maximum driving range of 600km. It takes 4 minutes to fill the hydrogen fuel tank. This concept car will be the hydrogen-powered version of the Q6 and is expected to be introduced to the market in 2018.

The Audi H-tronquattro concept car continues the design of the E-tronquattro pure electric concept car in terms of styling. The insiders pointed out that for pure electric vehicles, battery life will be very important, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have advantages in this respect, and they are less constrained.

Increasing competition

Market analysts said that competition in the industry is currently intensifying. Although traditional car companies have increased their investment and launched new products, they have not gained the upper hand in the competition with Tesla.

Mike Jackson, CEO of AutoNaTIon, the world's largest auto dealer, said that in the next five years, electric vehicles will account for about 2% of the US market, but the sales of electric vehicles for traditional car companies still lack bright spots. Take GM as an example. In 1999, GM shut down the EV1 production line and launched a $1 billion electric car project, but it didn't work. A few years later, GM opened the Volt project. Despite the strong support of company executives, electric vehicles worth $35,000 have been disappointing. Since 2010, Volt has sold less than 90,000 units worldwide, with sales of only 1,500 units in December last year. In comparison, other pure electric vehicles, such as Nissan's Leaf and Tesla's relatively expensive but well-functioning ModelS, outperformed Volt.

Tesla has said that the Model 3 car, which is due to be launched in 2017, will reach a range of 200 miles after a single charge. This is no small challenge for other car companies. After the Model3 is introduced to the market, some competitors from the European market will also introduce electric vehicles with longer battery life, but the price will be more expensive.

Yang Jing, an automotive industry analyst at Fitch Ratings Research, said in an exclusive interview with China Securities Journal that the overall outlook for the new energy vehicle market in 2016 is still optimistic. She said that the development of new energy vehicles in the long run is still a major trend, but there may be various twists and turns, and industry competition will be fierce. Taking the Chinese market as an example, although the sales of new energy vehicles have increased significantly at the end of 2015, this may also lead to a decline in sales growth in 2016 due to the “high base”.

She stressed that it should be noted that the development of new energy vehicles still faces many favorable factors, and local government support is relatively strong. Some public areas, including taxis, buses and urban micro-buses, will also develop in the field of new energy vehicles. In the future, some new models with suitable prices will attract consumers. The highlight of electric vehicles this year is whether battery technology can make a breakthrough. She said that compared with overseas markets, newer models such as hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles are still in the research stage in China, some fueling infrastructure is insufficient, and the profit model is not perfect.

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