The latest market research report by Technavio on the new energy vehicle market in China predicts a CAGR of around 36.13% during the period 2017-2021. Ultra-capacitors in EV energy storage systems and the focus on reducing charging time will be the top two emerging trends for this market during the forecast period.
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Technavio has added the 'New Energy Vehicle Market in China' report to their automotive research library. (Graphic: Business Wire)
Ultra-capacitors used for energy storage and discharge function in the battery packs of EVs are a highly attracted futuristic trend. Trials have already started with electric powertrain buses globally, and China is the leading country in this innovation. China-based CRRC has already tested ultra-capacitors, and they are in use for powering its public transport buses, since 2008.
According to Amey Vikram, a lead automotive manufacturing research analyst from Technavio, "In China, these buses will run 20km on average range, with 3-5 minutes of charging, which is done via bus stops during passenger boarding time. In 2016, cities in Austria and Bulgaria became the non-Chinese cities to test and implement electric buses with ultra-capacitors to power the vehicle.
In 2017, Maxwell Technologies partnered with CRRC-SRI to localize the manufacturing of ultra-capacitor modules to be used in the Chinese NEV bus market."
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Technavio's automotiveresearch analysts categorize the new energy vehicle market in China into the following segments by propulsion type:
- Pure EVs
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Vehicles in the pure EVs segment are powered solely by the electricity stored in battery packs and therefore, do not require ICE or any other fuel source. The on-board battery used in these vehicles is of three types: Ni-MH, lead-acid, and Li-ion, out of which Li-ion is the most commonly used one. The chemical energy stored in rechargeable battery packs installed in pure EVs propels the electric motors and motor controllers.
PHEVs are full hybrid vehicles with a high power rated battery pack as in pure EVs, thereby, propelling the vehicle either through ICE or battery. Hence, these vehicles have a longer range and can use 100% electricity for propulsion. They are widely used in longer range and heavy-duty applications. Since the batteries of PHEVs can be recharged through a plug-in to external supply, they fall under the NEV segment.
"The engine automatically turns off when idle and restarts on acceleration. This automatic start-stop mechanism reduces emissions and prevents fuel wastage, thus ensuring better fuel economy. These vehicles are designed to capture energy from the automobile braking system and support higher loads such as active chassis technologies and air conditioning. The installed battery in these vehicles is also charged by the ICE and regenerative braking," adds Amey.
A fuel cell is a relatively new technology with a future potential market in automobile applications, such as passenger vehicles, commercial vehicles, and forklifts. Owing to the zero emission of GHG, major OEMs have shifted their focus toward the development of HFCVs. Therefore, this technology is expected to become commercially viable during the forecast period.
Toyota Mirai, Hyundai Tucson ix35, and Honda Clarity are the currently available passenger car HFCVs, with OEMs still under testing and trials phase of fuel cell buses. The high cost and safety concerns of HFCV have limited their number. Also, the lack of supporting infrastructure in terms of charging stations and the aftersales network is a major factor hindering the acceptance of these vehicles.
The top vendors highlighted by Technavio's research analysts in this report are:
- Geely Automobile Holdings
- Zotye Auto
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