This working paper assesses technology progress and new developments in hybrid and electric vehicles in China.
Joint ventures, especially with Japanese automakers, dominate China’s hybrid electric vehicle market. However, some independent domestic manufacturers have already made significant progress on full hybrid system development. Another promising direction is 48V mild hybrid systems. These systems achieve additional cost reductions by staying below the lethal limit of about 60V, without significant reductions in efficiency compared with higher voltage mild hybrids.
China’s plug-in vehicle market is dominated by domestic automakers. In the past several years, automakers have substantially increased battery capacity and reduced energy consumption of battery electric vehicles. Currently, the pack-level specific energy of traction batteries used in BEVs in China is 150 Wh/kg and the cost is 1.4 yuan/Wh. China’s goal is to increase the pack-level battery specific energy of traction battery to 300 Wh/kg in 2030 and reduce battery cost to 0.8 yuan/Wh in 2030. Many plug-in hybrid vehicle models are developed directly based on low tech gasoline vehicles. Their hybrid systems are not as advanced as the leading foreign brands. Thus, these PHEV models do not perform well enough in fuel efficiency in charge sustaining mode.
With the government ’s newly released new energy vehicle mandate policy, both domestic and foreign automakers have started to adjust their product plans and we are expecting more competition of technology advancement of electrified vehicles in China.
This paper is one of a series of ICCT working paper that aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the current availability, effectiveness, and future market penetration of key fuel-efficiency technologies that manufacturers are likely to use in China by 2030. This information enables a more accurate, China-specific understanding of future technology pathways.