2023 China Electric Vehicle Forum: Byd's Chairman Calls for Rapid Electrification to Boost China's Auto Industry

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Organized by the Chinese Electric Vehicle 100 People, and co-sponsored by Tsinghua University, China Society of Automotive Engineers, China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, China Automotive Technology & Research Center, and China Automotive Engineering Research Institute, the China Electric Vehicle 100 People’s Forum (2023) opened in Beijing.

The forum invited representatives from relevant government departments and leading institutions and enterprises in the automotive, energy, transportation, urban, and communication industries to engage in in-depth discussions on various topics, including the global automotive industry development landscape, high-quality development pathways for new energy vehicles, China’s intelligent connected vehicle development strategy, power battery and other core industrial chain supply chain development trends, new generation automotive consumption change trends, automotive and energy coordinated development strategies, new transport energy security systems, commercial vehicle transformation directions, automotive aftermarket innovation paths, and automotive digitalization and intelligent manufacturing models.

At the 2023 China Electric Vehicle 100 People’s Forum · High-level Forum, Wang Chuanfu, Chairman and President of BYD, talked about the following points in his speech:

  • Automobile electrification is essential to achieve China’s modernization, paving the way to become an automotive powerhouse.

  • In March 2023, the penetration rate of new energy vehicles in China reached 35%. In the first quarter, the penetration rate reached 27%. The timetable for China’s complete automobile electrification has accelerated.

  • The new energy vehicle industry is not about big fish eating small fish, but fast fish eating slow fish.

  • This year’s new energy vehicle sales may reach 8.5 million to 9 million units.

  • Two suggestions: first, extend the policy of exempting new energy vehicle purchase tax until 2025; second, advocate for the “multi-gun fast charging” model.

  • Wang Chuanfu pointed out that the “multi-gun fast charging” model has five advantages: first, it is compatible with the past; second, it is expandable to include future heavy trucks and other transportation tools; third, it is user-friendly and more convenient; fourth, it is friendly to charging operators; fifth, there is no need to modify existing standards.

  • BYD has over 100 patents in the “multi-gun fast charging” field and is willing to provide them for free to the industry.

Here is the complete speech:

Respected Chairman Qing, Minister Miao, leaders, and entrepreneur friends, good afternoon!

I am honored to participate in the Electric Vehicle 100 People’s Forum to explore and exchange ideas on the development of new energy vehicles and the automotive industry during this transformative period. On behalf of BYD, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all leaders and friends for their continued support. Today, my presentation is titled “Embrace the Electrification Wave Resolutely and Accelerate the Modernization of China’s Automotive Industry.”General Secretary Xi presciently pointed out in 2014 that the development of new energy vehicles is the only way for China to transition from a big automotive country to a powerful automotive country. For a long time, as a concentrated manifestation of the implementation of new development concepts in national strategy, new energy vehicles have not only represented green development and innovative development, but also promoted higher levels of openness to the outside world. The 20th CPC National Congress put forward the Chinese-style modernization, the Central Economic Work Conference at the end of last year called for support for new energy vehicle consumption, and this year’s “Two Sessions” government work report even included a 93.4% increase in new energy vehicle sales last year as a data highlight. Manufacturing is the foundation of the national economy, and the automotive industry is the backbone of manufacturing. We believe that Chinese-style modernization is inseparable from the electrification of automobiles. Rapid electrification of automobiles will lead to a strong automotive country.

It is precisely because our country chose the new track of automobile electrification more than a decade ago, after a long period of persistence in overcoming numerous difficulties without giving up, that today’s leading position of China’s new energy vehicles can be achieved, with production and sales ranking first in the world for eight consecutive years, accounting for more than 60% of the global share last year, and the dream of an automotive powerhouse is being realized at an accelerated pace.

In the past decade, BYD has been fortunate to seize the huge opportunities released by the new development concept, embracing the electrification revolution with the upstream and downstream industry chain, and has painstakingly embarked on a green and innovative development path. Of course, this is also destined to be a difficult and misunderstood “road of thorns.” In order to promote new energy vehicles, BYD has taken an unprecedented path, faced with enormous pressure and challenges in the early years. Having traveled thousands of miles and spoken countless words, focusing on technological innovation, we have fortunately achieved significant growth in recent years. We are acutely aware that any great change and innovation harbors enormous risks, and the process of change and innovation is very tortuous, encountering numerous difficulties and hesitations—should we back down? We are deeply convinced that the development of new energy vehicles is in line with the national strategic direction and the needs of the people for a better life, and can effectively alleviate the oil crisis, advance the dual-carbon goals, and achieve industrial transformation.

As a global new energy vehicle pioneer, BYD bears this responsibility and mission to promote the sustainable development of human society and the continuous progress of human civilization while addressing social issues. Both the present and future roads of change are full of hardships and challenges. BYD remains prudent and innovative, persevering through the greatest difficulties.

At present, the automotive industry is facing some challenges but even more opportunities, and we need to use development approaches to solve developmental problems. BYD hopes to work with the industry to overcome difficulties and accelerate the modernization of China’s automotive industry. In the midst of global changes that have not been seen for a century, the automotive industry is undergoing unprecedented changes. In the past three years, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the evolution of these century-old transformations, and China’s new energy vehicles have stood at the forefront of the “dual-carbon” trend, achieving explosive growth with an average penetration rate rising from 7% in the second half of 2020 to 26% in the past two years, reaching as high as 30% in the first quarter of this year, and a single-month penetration rate of 35% in March. In the post-pandemic era, the tide of new energy vehicles surges forward, ushering in a crucial stage of transition from quantitative change to qualitative change, and the iteration of new and old things approaches a historic tipping point.The first quarter’s automotive market has shown this adjustment; markets change daily, electrification won’t reverse, and the timetable for full electrification in our country is moving forward faster than anticipated. The industry must have ample expectations and preparations, as it presents both risks and opportunities to all companies. We need to pay attention to subtle market changes and calmly analyze and respond.

The industry now has a mix of joy and worry. The joy is in the vast size of our automotive market, whereas the worry lies in the exceptionally fierce competition. At this moment, it isn’t about big fish eating small fish, but rather fast fish eating slow fish. During this transformation, businesses must possess innovative technology, precise strategies, and flexible decision-making – lacking in any one aspect is not an option. Only then can they survive.

This year, domestic new energy vehicle sales are expected to reach 8.5 million to 9 million units, and with the accelerated formation of new energy development patterns, the entire industry and consumption structure will be revitalized, generating strong development momentum. Last year’s central work conference set forth various requirements, which will be implemented first in the new energy industry.

To accelerate the modernization of the automotive industry, we propose two recommendations:

First, we hope to extend the new energy vehicle purchase tax exemption policy to 2025.

Currently, the global economy is in a complex and challenging phase. To cope with risks, we need to maintain confidence and stable expectations. Many countries are increasing their financial and tax support for new energy vehicles. Our purchase tax subsidy for new energy vehicles phased out at the end of last year, while the purchase tax exemption policy has been confirmed until the end of this year. Considering the longer development cycle of new energy vehicles, long-term planning is required for product development, design, and cost management. Therefore, we suggest extending the purchase tax exemption policy to 2025, swiftly enacting it, stabilizing expectations, and giving full play to the new energy vehicle market’s role as a “ballast” and “power source.”

Second, the country is promoting the establishment of ultra-charging standards, but a consensus has not been reached within the industry.

We recommend the “multi-gun fast charging” mode to break through bottlenecks, using two to multiple guns to charge a single vehicle simultaneously. Multi-gun ultra-charging has five major advantages:

  1. Compatibility with the past as nearly 10 million existing new energy vehicles in China can be accommodated by multi-gun fast charging.
  2. Expandability for the future, as heavy trucks or larger battery-equipped transportation vehicles may require even more power. For example, if the current fast-charging power of 350 kW needs to increase to 500 kW, multi-gun charging can solve this problem. A single gun, for instance, with 120 kW when used with six guns turns into over 700 kW, and with ten guns, it reaches 1200 kW – this can be completely scalable.3. User-friendly as increasing charging power would add weight to the charging gun, resulting in a poorer user experience, particularly for female users. Multi-gun ultra-fast charging is more convenient; one person handling two guns is easier than two people carrying one gun.
  3. Charging providers-friendly because existing charging facilities don’t require dismantling. The maximum utilization of existing resources is achieved by simply adding more gunheads or cabinets.
  4. No need to change existing standards; the industry has many debates over standards, but multi-gun ultra-fast charging can solve all the issues, resolving differing opinions on standard.

Furthermore, BYD has over 100 patents in the area of multi-gun fast charging and is willing to offer them for free to the industry.

The larger the company, the greater the responsibility. BYD will work together with the industry, shouldering the responsibilities and mission assigned by the times, unwaveringly embracing the wave of electrification, accelerating the modernization of China’s automotive industry, providing a Chinese example for the global automotive industry’s transformation, and contributing to the global green economic recovery with Chinese strength.

Thank you, everyone!

This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email bd@42how.com.