EV activists

Two numbers to get you started. 2.338 and 180.000. The first number represents the electric cars sold in China in 2011, the second is the estimated result for 2015. China is the largest EV market in the world - by political will. It begins with the preferred allocation of approval licenses for EVs and continues with clear guidelines for official vehicle fleets.

NEVS EV. Photo Credit: Sveriges Radio
NEVS EV. Photo Credit: Sveriges Radio

Since January 1st they have to prove a share of at least 30% “New Energy Vehicles” in their fleet. Freight forwarders also feel the arm of the law. You will preferably receive orders within the 6th Beijing ring road if the transport fleet is green certified.

The world's largest producer of EV's came out of the People's Republic last year. BYD (Build Your Dreams) reported 2015 fully battery-powered vehicles as sold in November 50.797 - and beats Tesla. The challenge for BYD is not to find customers. The company can barely meet the exploding demand. BYD is sitting on a mountain of orders, capacities are at their limit.

BYD taxi fleet in Brussels
BYD taxi fleet in Brussels

In order to understand what is happening in China with regard to NEVS, we should try to see the story neutrally or with Chinese eyes. Success or failure is linked to the person of Kai Johan Jiang, who is called Jiang Dalong in China. His partnership with Quingdao brought NEVS into the orbit of groups of people suspected of corruption. What followed was the withdrawal of love from party and state for Jiang Dalong, withdrawal of money for NEVS, reconstruction in Sweden.

It became quiet around Jiang Dalong for a shame period; almost a year later you could read these sentences in state-controlled media: “Jiang Dalong has seen his mistakes and has returned remorsefully to the lap of the party and the people. We assume that he will fulfill his future duties to our satisfaction.”Not quite as young readers in the eastern part of our country know this sentence prose. Jiang Dalong received socialist-style absolution last spring.

Since then, things are uphill with NEVS.

A new headquarters in Beijing, which will offer 5.000 square meters of floor space. The Tianjin plant is 50% complete. What emerges is a group for “New Energy Vehicles”. Complete with administration, design, development, press office and manufacturing in China. No production vehicle has yet been seen in a showroom or at an exhibition, the first orders are already coming.

The leasing company Panda New Energy, financed by Hasun Asset, wants to purchase 250.000 vehicles over the next 5 years. 50.000 minibuses, 50.000 MPVs and 150.000 vehicles each based on the Saab 9-3 platform. One has another 20.000 vehicles Company ordered, which is assigned to the sphere of influence of the People's Liberation Army. This is not uncommon, we should see it with an open mind. Success is "made" in the Chinese system where it is desired. Orders can be hidden subsidy and start-up funding if the company seems useful. And NEVS, there is little doubt, seems to be one of the useful companies.

NEVS and Jiang Dalong copy in parts the successful concept of BYD. The largest electric car manufacturer in the world offers everything from small EV to the bus, where you can install a battery. The concept also found investor legend Warren Buffet good. 2008 raised $ 230 million at BYD, not Tesla. The value of the stock has since more than quintupled.

Political will to the EV exists, Jiang Dalong basks in the goodwill of the administration, NEVS China is on the way to the success story. An ascent that could go very fast. China wants to become world leader in EV's. Domestically, mobility relies heavily on local products.

NEVS and what it has to do with Saab

The view back: Bloggers back mirror
The view back: Bloggers back mirror

What does this have to do with Saab? Nothing at first sight, apart from the fact that Trollhättan is being designed for China. In the last few days there have been rumors that NEVS has to dismantle the Saab logos at the factory. This already existed a year ago, when all Saab signposts in the city were supposed to disappear before the festival. Nothing happened then. And now, fact or fama? We will see. The fact that NEVS will generate its own brand for China is also not new and not unusual.

My relationship with NEVS is illusionless and emotionless. However, it would be too easy to file NEVS as a China-only matter. The matter is more demanding. Sweden is an integral part of the agenda, even if one can only speculate how things will go in the medium term. The feeling tells me that NEVS will not give up the Saab brand without a fight - not without trying everything that is financially and politically possible. NEVS has tailwind, the situation is no longer as it was a few months ago. Saab could rise as a European premium brand in the NEVS group, like Volvo at Geely.

Two numbers to get out. They show how politics and legislation also work in Europe. 3.710 and 23. These are the December numbers of the most popular “New Energy Vehicles” from two European countries in which Saab has been successful. 3.710 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV were brought to customers in the Netherlands in December. A country with restrictive environmental guidelines.

23 Nissan Leaf was approved for comparison in Italy in December. Only 390 Leaf from market leader Nissan found over 12 months distributed the interest of the customers in a country, where no political will to the EV seems to exist. How is Europe developing further? And what if there were Xnumx Saab EV's from Trollhättan?

18 thoughts on "EV activists"

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    By 2018 nobody will need a fuel cell except maybe trucks ... The battery technology will make a leap in 2017 and will be even cheaper than today.

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      It is and will be! The day before yesterday I spoke to someone from the electrical engineering department at the university. There is a research group at Cambridge University who have improved a lithium ion battery cell, so that at least 30 percent more capacity comes out. On EVs that would mean ranges of up to 800 km for small cars….

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    That one wants to build now only pure EVs does not mean that there are 3 or 5 years with fuel cell.
    One must not forget that these are still very expensive for the moment and only serve the image.
    Apart from the petrol station network that actually does not exist.
    At least until now.

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    Good and interesting article. It is possible that we will have a better charging infrastructure in 2018, e.g. B on company parking lots to catch the solar power surplus at noon. Then a good only electric vehicle would be an option as an additional vehicle for journeys within a 100 km radius. There is no need to drag an additional drive that is rarely required and the “combustion engine” is spared for longer journeys

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      Only those who have 2 vehicles can spare the burners. Many people only have 1 car with which they have to get along in all life situations. That's why NEVS will inevitably have to build a hybrid if that's what it's all about in Europe.

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    I would like to know if the EVs are only sold to business customers or to Chinese private customers?

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      Good and exciting question. NEVS has no sales network in China, currently. Setting up your own sales structure is expensive, and using the Dongfeng dealer network would be conceivable. NEVS has a cooperation with Dongfeng.

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    Also from me Thanks for the information! Let's see what happens.
    The trend to the EV is here and will be quite serious with us.
    Whether that makes sense under a total energy balance sheet must show the time.
    Personally, I think fuel cell technology makes more sense.

    It would be nice to see a Saab future with the right lettering.
    Until then, I cherish and care for my darlings!

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    Great article, lots of new information (at least for me).

    And even if I haven't actually been a big NEVS fan so far, I'm happy that it seems somehow (and probably also a little more “serious”) that it “continues”.

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    Very fine and fair article! Interesting to read Chinese terms. Tom, even if the NEVS theme is not seriously enjoyable, it would be nice if we do not lose sight of the EVs!

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    Most interesting and important article that I have read so far on Saabblog. Also wg. the background of the chronology.

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    In Shenzhen (BYD production site, just off the Hong Kong border), approximately 20% of all-electric taxis manufactured by BYD already drive. Own impressions: very quiet, the more you hear the cracked 5-door body. Reach for the taxi operation is still not satisfactory, according to the taxi driver, max. 300 km are possible.
    The many Toyota Prius are considered more practical.
    Nevertheless, it is impressive to see how the BYD's have spread within a year.
    Greetings, Uli

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    I can well imagine in Europe, when priced affordable, that a plug in hybrid vehicle can be sold very well. See the Mitsubishi sales figures. In China, the strategy of NEVS will certainly work in these circumstances. Only a resurrection of Saab within the NEVS group I do not see in Europe without transition technologies such as hybrid. And NEVS is clear, no compromise, just pure EV and nothing else.

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      This is the official way of speaking about the topic. I would not rule out a plug-in hybrids for 2018.

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    SAAB as an independent brand for high-quality electric cars owned by a Chinese group ... why not?
    and I think that NEVS will not have any problems with the naming rights as long as the new EVs do justice to the name SAAB.

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    An exciting view! Maybe, supposably, too soon to have hope for new coffins. If you build cool EVs and if the 4 magic letters are on it, I could think it over.

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