Chinese Electric Car Manufacturers
EV sales have boomed in China, outpacing global figures. The growth has surprised even established automakers, who were slow to embrace the technology.
Many companies boosted sales by selling vehicles to ride-hailing and rental firms, rather than to individual customers. This made them vulnerable when Beijing slashed subsidies in 2019. Now, they’re struggling to sell cars without government support.
The Chongqing-based manufacturer is one of the big four carmakers in China and has joint investments with Ford and Mazda. It sold over 2 million cars last year and has plans to move away from gasoline vehicles.
Changan is renowned for its budget models like chinese electric car manufacturers the Lumina sedan, but it has been expanding into the higher-end market with EVs such as the Deepal SL03 and its range-extended variant. It is also making its first foray into the international market with a plant in Thailand.
XPeng, which is the company’s electric vehicle subsidiary, has an impressive technology portfolio. Its flagship model, the G6 coupe SUV, is based on its Smart Electric Platform Architecture (SEPA) 2.0. This consists of large single-piece front and rear underbody castings joined together by the battery pack. The result is a lower center of gravity and increased passenger space.
In 2022, the manufacturer introduced its EV platform called EPA1. It is capable of supporting all types of powertrains including hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric. This technology was showcased in the Changan Deep Blue, a pure electric vehicle that competes with the Tesla Model 3.
In March 2023, Changan announced that it had partnered with China’s battery king CATL to develop an integrated EV system. This new platform is expected to be used by the brand’s 2024 range of EVs.
Founded in 2014, Shanghai-based Hozon New Energy Automobile (simplified Chinese: ) provides intelligent electric cars and related services. The company specializes in researching, developing and manufacturing electric vehicles. It also offers intelligent electric vehicle components and parts. Hozon has sold four models, including the S01 coupe and T03 hatchback and C11 SUV. It has a diversified product line and is a subsidiary of Leapmotor.
In addition to government investments, there are other sources of domestic financing that have and will continue to benefit EV manufacturers in China. These include below-market credit, investment funds and a range of other incentives. These policies are a key part of the government’s overall strategy to promote green technology in China.
Like many Chinese start-ups, Hozon is spending heavily to maintain its momentum and hasn’t turned a profit yet. However, it has the strongest team in the country to cover the entire EV value chain. Its EV platforms include the HPC and Neta.
SAIC-GM-Wuling is another big-name Chinese automaker with a growing EV business. It has a joint venture with XPeng, which has recorded strong EV sales since its launch in 2022. Its entry-level model, the Hongguang, starts at 44,800 yuan ($6,563). It is a compact and affordable EV that doesn’t have the safety features of more expensive models. Its sales are boosted by its partnerships with car-hailing companies and local governments.
As investors’ enthusiasm for Tesla spreads to other EV manufacturers, Li Auto has become one of the most interesting stocks in the space. Its stock is trading at a double-digit premium to its industry peers and has a better earnings-per-share rating than many other electric vehicle companies, but it still needs to prove itself as an upstanding player in the long run.
The company has built a niche for itself by focusing on hybrid electric vehicles, which combine an internal combustion engine to extend battery range. This strategy has allowed the company to gain traction in China, where charging infrastructure is limited and electric car prices are higher than those of gasoline cars.
Its current offerings include the L7, L8, and L9 SUVs. Each has unique features, such as light-sensitive paint that changes color with the sun, a queen seat that can transform into a tent for family camping trips, and a retractable roof to let in natural sunlight. The company also has a flagship model, the L9, that is expected to go on sale towards the end of 2023 and retails for about $70,000.
The company is preparing for an eventual shift to pure electric vehicles, and it has begun to invest heavily in engineering and technology. It is also building high-speed charging stations across the country. The company plans to have 300 high-speed stations by the end of this year, and 3,000 by 2025.
Chinese manufacturers have seized the lead in global electric car sales, with BYD leading the pack. In 2022, the company sold more than 100,000 cars globally, more than double that of Tesla. These vehicles are popular in countries with strict pollution controls. China’s EV makers are also expanding into Electric Sightseeing Car international markets. They have found success in Southeast Asia, where governments are encouraging ride-hailing app drivers to switch to EVs.
In addition to government investment funds, many Chinese EV manufacturers are accessing below-market credit. These credits are designed to promote domestic manufacturing. These credits are a critical source of funding, especially for small companies that are competing with global giants. However, these credit sources are difficult to quantify.
One of the biggest players in China’s EV market is BYD, which started as a rechargeable battery manufacturer and moved into handset electronics and then automotives. In 2008, BYD Auto launched the world’s first mass-produced EV. The car used the company’s own lithium-ion batteries and attracted attention from investors like Warren Buffett.
Although the company’s EV sales have exploded in recent years, BYD remains cautious about entering the United States. It is still deciding whether to sell its cars in the United States, where it has been selling battery-powered transit buses for a decade. It plans to use the same technology in its sedans and SUVs.