China’s Electric Carmakers Spark Excitement Across Asia
By 2030, electric vehicles will make up 90 percent of new car sales in China, William Li, CEO of the Chinese EV startup Nio, predicts. Right now, China is bursting with new EV startup companies that are making strides in the domestic market and reaching out to other Asian countries such as Nepal and Thailand.
Statistics from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers show that automakers in China exported over 340,000 electric vehicles from January to August 2022.
Nio targets China's market for premium electric SUVs and cars. Currently, Tesla rules that market, but Chinese EV startups are emerging as competition. For now, Tesla outsells the startups like Nio, which views itself as a pioneer and a leading company in the premium smart electric vehicle market.
Nio aims to be in 25 countries by 2025, but the sales numbers are still small.
Nio delivered 10,677 vehicles in August 2022, representing an increase of 81.6 percent year-over-year, the company said in a statement. The deliveries included 7,551 Nio ES7s, premium smart electric SUVs and 3,126 premium smart electric sedans.
As a company, Nio has another offering that sets it apart from the fierce competition - environmental protection on a landscape scale.
On Earth Day, April 22, 2022, Nio and the World Wide Fund for Nature China entered into a Clean Parks strategic cooperation to create and protect China's national parks and nature reserves.
Nio announced the ecological co-construction initiative Clean Parks in December 2021. Under the agreement, WWF will join with Nio in establishing a clean and low-carbon energy circulation system in national parks and nature reserves, driving clean mobility and sustainable development, launching demonstration projects and protecting the authenticity and integrity of ecosystems.
“Since China started the pilot project on national parks in 2015, WWF has been actively participating in establishing the nature reserve system with national parks as the main body and facilitating the high-quality development of national parks,” said Lunyan Lu, chief representative of WWF China.
“Clean Parks starts with co-construction, with which Nio and WWF will leverage our respective resources and technological advantages to provide solutions to and share practices on the protection of national parks, nature reserves and their surrounding communities,” Lu said.
IT’S A GREAT HONOR TO HAVE WWF CO-INITIATE CLEAN PARKS WITH NIO, TO JOINTLY BUILD A CLEAN AND LOW-CARBON ENERGY CIRCULATION SYSTEM IN NATURE RESERVES IN CHINA AND EVEN AROUND THE WORLD AND TO MOVE TOWARDS A GREENER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE FUTURE.
founder, chairman and chief executive officer, Nio
“We also look forward to jointly popularizing clean mobility and biodiversity conservation to further raise the public's awareness of environmental protection, contributing to building a community of all life on Earth, and shaping a clean and beautiful world with blue skies,” said William Li, Nio founder, chairman and CEO.
While expanding capacity in China, Nio is growing overseas. The startup is building a power product plant in Hungary, which is expected to be operational this month, to help facilitate its expansion in Europe.
The plant will serve as a production, service and R&D center for Nio's power products, including battery-swapping stations in Europe. Battery-swapping stations allow EV drivers to get their exhausted battery packs replaced with full ones in minutes, more quickly than charging them by plugging in. Nio has built more than 1,000 battery-swapping stations in China.
"The operation of the plant will add further momentum to the construction of battery swap stations in these countries, providing a solid foundation for local battery swapping and charging services," the company said.
Asian Buyers Open Up to Electric Cars
Asia is emerging as a new destination for China's electric carmakers, "China Daily" reports.
Last week, the Chinese startup Neta sold a Neta V electric subcompact crossover to its first customer in Nepal. The Neta V is produced by Hozon Auto under the Neta brand, a Chinese all-electric car marque manufactured by the Zhejiang Hezhong New Energy Automobile Company.
Neta signed its deal with the Nepalese company CG Motors in April. Besides the Neta V, the two plan to introduce models like the battery-powered mid-size sedan Neta S and the electric compact crossover Neta U shortly.
ELECTRIC MOBILITY PRESENTS AN ATTRACTIVE OPTION TO REDUCE THE NATIONAL TRADE DEFICIT AND FOSTER LONG-TERM DOMESTIC SUSTAINABLE ENERGY SOLUTIONS. SO, WE ARE INTENDING TO EMBRACE SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY IN BOTH THE PRIVATE AND COMMERCIAL SECTORS OF THE NEPALESE MARKET.
CG Motors executive, Nepal
Nepal is reducing the dependence of its transport sector on fossil fuels, CG executive Nirvana Chaudhary said.
Neta's sale of its first vehicle in Nepal came days after the company opened a showroom in downtown Bangkok, Thailand's capital.
Neta now has 25 sales outlets in Thailand, a number expected to reach 30 by year’s end.
BYD Has Dreams of Thailand
China's largest electric vehicle maker BYD (Build Your Dreams) announced earlier this month that it plans to produce vehicles in Thailand from 2024 for sale in the country and for export to neighboring markets in Southeast Asia.
BYD now has a deal with WHA Group, a Thailand developer of industrial estates, for construction of a factory with an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles that will be the company's first passenger vehicle manufacturing facility.
"Thailand has a solid base in the automotive industry with first-class manufacturing capabilities so we chose to build a factory here after careful deliberation," Liu Xueliang, general manager of BYD Asia-Pacific Auto Sales Division, told the Communist Party newspaper "China Daily."
WHA Chairman Jareeporn Jarukornsakul said, "We sincerely welcome BYD to set up a plant in our industrial park and expand its business. WHA, together with BYD, will help achieve the goal of making Thailand an electric vehicle hub in Southeast Asia."
Tesla has begun to lose ground in China to BYD. The company is backed by American multi-billionaire Warren Buffett, who, with a net worth of over US$97 billion as of September 2022, is the world's seventh-wealthiest person. Still, shares in BYD plunged in late August after Buffett's company, Berkshire Hathaway, reduced its stake in BYD amid speculation of a possible exit.
Great Wall Motors, China's largest pickup and SUV brand, has had a presence in Australasia for the past 13 years with many petrol cars on Australian and New Zealand roads.
But now, overtaken by BYD in China, Great Wall Motors is following BYD’s own game plan, going fully electric by the end of the decade. The company says it will stop offering petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030.
MG Very Much in the Game
The MG4 EV is a battery-electric small family hatchback produced by the Chinese automotive manufacturer SAIC Motor under the British MG marque.
In the compact - subcompact class, the MG4 EV competes with the Volkswagen ID.3, Cupra Born and Chevy Bolt EV. Several electric cars from the Stellantis group compete in the same class, such as the Vauxhall / Opel Corsa-e, and the Peugeot e-208.
Last week, ships loaded with 10,000 MG4 EVs left Shanghai for Europe, marking China's largest single shipment of electric vehicles bound for overseas markets.
The MG4 EV is the first model that SAIC built using its dedicated electric platform. It was created by SAIC's Chinese and British teams and was developed based on new car quality standards in a range of countries.
In the fourth quarter, the MG4 EV is expected to be for sale in 20 nations on the European continent. By 2023, it will be available in 80 countries around the world, SAIC President Wang Xiaoqiu said at the model's launch ceremony in Shanghai on September 13.
Xpeng Launches Self-Driving Tesla Competitor
Chinese smart electric vehicle builder Xpeng has launched an advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) that is similar to Tesla’s self-driving software, allowing its cars to navigate automatically along city streets. It is the first Chinese automotive firm to launch an autonomous car for city-level driving.
Some of Xpeng’s P5 sedans fitted with lidar sensors can now access city navigation guided pilot (NGP) software through over-the-air updates. They can drive without human intervention in urban areas, the Guangzhou-based automaker said on September 18.
He Xiaopeng, co-founder and chief executive of Xpeng, said in a statement, “Xpeng is spearheading a strategic roadmap to expand ADAS usage scenarios from covering highways and parking lots to much more complex city driving environment, offering our customers enhanced safety and an optimized driving experience."
And that's not all Xpeng has to offer. Last October, XPeng has revealed its concept for a road-capable flying car that the company plans to release as soon as 2024.