Pacemaker of electromobility: Will China become the new Silicon Valley?

When it comes to the technologies of tomorrow, the world eagerly looks to California. China could soon take the same role in the field of electromobility.

The CTI SYMPOSIUM CHINA shows the way forward

Do you share the mentioned optimism, or do you cast a sceptical eye on the euphoria?

In either case, the CTI SYMPOSIUM – Automotive Drivetrains, Intelligent, Electrified – in Shanghai is the perfect platform to broaden your mind and have lively discussions with the international experts. A large number of presentations illuminates the relevant topics. The panel discussion with top-class participants focuses on the central question: “Does China have the core competencies to be the leader of the hybrid and electric drive technologies?

Key market and trend barometer

China is an outstanding market for electrically driven vehicles. Rapid growth rates can also be predicted for the future. Since the dual credit policy to support new energy vehicles (NEVs) came into effect, the economic success of foreign providers in China crucially depends on the fact whether they can sell significantly more NEVs (i.e. PHVs and EVs).

Innovative concepts are in demand. In China, this could be, for example, very compact electric vehicles, with two seats – possibly automated driving – and perfectly suitable for dense urban traffic in the metropolises. Also a new trend for Europe?

Even though the conditions in the heavily regulated Chinese market are not always easy, the companies present a positive picture and aspire to build further partnerships. Those who want to see autonomous driving vehicles from different manufacturers today should rather go to Shanghai or Beijing instead of Silicon Valley.

China’s transmission market: What you should know before deciding

Not only are most cars worldwide sold in China, but the Chinese transmission market is also said to be the biggest in the world. The conditions, however, differ significantly from those in other countries.

The analyst Wenjuan Zhang from IHS Markit (China) gives an overview of the transmission market in China in the era of hybrid and electric drive technologies. Her expert assessments and predictions are based on a current database and precise market observation, including the latest sales figures and strategies by OEMs and suppliers. The governmental regulations are taken into account as further parameters.

The presented results are an important basis for decisions on planned activities in the Chinese market.

Awards for the best: China awards Oscars for transmissions

Transmissions usually play a minor role in the public interest. At “World Top 10 Transmissions Selection and Evaluation”, they are the stars.

In his presentation, Professor Dr Xiangyang Xu from Beihang University (Beijing) explains the background and the organisation.

Almost all important foreign transmission manufacturers are now producing in China, and a growing number of local manufacturers stimulates the market. The “World Top 10 Transmissions” award therefore promises a fascinating comparison. The jury uses a number of different rating criteria. With regard to the latest results presented by Professor Dr Xiangyang Xu, it will be especially interesting to find out about the outcome of the competition between local and foreign manufacturers.

The results as the “voice of the most important market in the world” are not only relevant for experts. Chinese car drivers are also increasingly interested in drive technologies and drivability. A successful performance at the “World Top 10 Transmissions” motivates manufacturers and influences customers and their buying decision.

BEV market in China: Is the 48-volt drive a feasible alternative?

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in January 2018, Valeo presented the prototype of a 48-volt electric vehicle. The simple – and already approved with hybrid vehicles – 48-volt technology offers considerable cost advantages compared to the expensive high-voltage technology.

At the CTI SYMPOSIUM CHINA, Xuefei Zhang (Valeo, China) presents a detailed feasibility study for such a vehicle. In the first step, the performance of the 48-volt system in compliance with the Chinese BEV regulations is determined. After the subsequent development of the system components, the demo vehicle is tested and validated in the last step.

Such a two-seat microcar – with a range of about 100 km and a maximum speed of 100 km/h – could definitely gain ground in the market. One of the reasons could also be the extremely low purchase price of, according to Valeo in Las Vegas, approx. 9,000 dollars or 7,500 euros.

Fuel cell vehicles: The market needs consistent standards

Fuel cells have for a long time been the beacon of hope for electromobility. A fuel cell vehicle (FCV) does not need big and heavy batteries, there are no range problems and re-fuelling takes only a few minutes.

A joint project between the Institute of Product Engineering (Institut für Produktentwicklung, IPEK) in Karlsruhe (Germany) and the Clean Energy Automotive Engineering Centre (CEAEC) at Tongji University (Shanghai) aims at developing the necessary validation standards for electric drivetrains for FCVs.

In his presentation, Qiwen Xiao from IPEK reports on the previous results of the German-Chinese research group. The research includes the German as well as the Chinese market. For example, test standards for fuel consumption and acoustic comfort could be defined by using new approaches. The project is done in close cooperation with fuel cell manufacturers, so a quick transfer of research results to the industry is guaranteed.

A Toyota Mirai is used as a test vehicle. Research is done on the acoustic roller dynamometer as well as on the test track. The newly developed validation standards are supposed to contribute to the market success of FCVs – so far, they have only be produced in small quantities.

The CTI SYMPOSIUM CHINA: We build bridges

As in the previous years, the seventh CTI SYMPOSIUM CHINA – which takes place from 18th to 20th September in Shanghai – is an ideal forum where East and West meet.

It is the perfect place to collect first-hand information, meet colleagues from other countries and make new and valuable contacts. Because one thing is for sure: There is nothing that can replace face-to face conversation.



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