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Analysis of New-energy Bus Market in Jan.-May 2013 (III)

2013-06-21    Source:www.chinabuses.org

www.chinabuses.org: III Analysis of Increase of the New Energy Bus Market from January to May 2013

There will be a certain increase in new energy buses and high-capacity buses in the year 2013. The development of new energy buses market has great potential which was reflected in the sales trends from January till May in 2013. The main reasons are as below:

First, since the state has strongly advocated the development of new energy vehicles, the fuel was in short supply and the prices are rising, which highlights the comparative advantages of new energy vehicles using costs.

Second, the informing of nationwide new energy bus network guarantees the development of new energy vehicles. With the development and perfection of new energy vehicle, the strong support of national policy and broad participation of the whole society, the new energy buses will increase as expected in the year 2013.

Third, from January to May 2012, the negative growth of new energy owing to the macroeconomic impact provide data level basis for a positive growth of the same period of 2013.

Fourth, since the year 2013, the fog and haze, especially in Beijing and other big cities, is serious, causing the national decision-making department pay great attention to new energy vehicles. With the strong recommendation from delegates of two meetings, the market opportunities increases, which is the main factor for market growth promoting of new energy vehicles from January to May 2013.

IV Scientific Judgment and Analysis of Current New Energy Bus Market

1. The market is still in the startup stage

Since January 2009, the Ministry of Science, Ministry of Finance, Development and Reform Commission, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology jointly launched the "Ten City 1000" project, there are already 25 cities involved in the demonstration of this vast project. According to "Ten City 1000" plan, till the end of May 2013, each demonstration city launched more than 1,000 new energy vehicles for demonstration operations, including buses as a major demonstration vehicle. Because of the involvement of the bus demonstration operations can obtain substantial financial subsidies,  the " Ten City 1000" is considered as important driving force in the development of China's new energy buses since the beginning of the implementation. It is this demonstration project that opened China's new energy bus batch operations prologue.

Related data show that "Ten City 1000" project invested totally 14,345 new energy buses in 25 demonstration cities by May 2013.The top five demonstration cities that invested the highest number of new energy buses are Shenzhen, Changsha , Beijing, Hangzhou and Wuhan. Shenzhen City, which invested the highest number of the new energy buses, totaled 2,050.Through the "city of one thousand ten" project, in the four years time from 2009 to 2013, new energy bus ownership has exceeded more than 10,000 vehicles in our country.

But this is apparently far apart from the set target. Some experts argued that some it has a bear by the tail since some demonstration cities does not have the conditions for the development of new energy bus and the local governments are ambitious, eager to strive for progress. According to China's bus network statistics, in 2012 China's new energy bus sales of 6614, compared with an annual sales volume of 250,000 passenger cars, new energy bus market is still far too small, the market is still in the early startup stage

2. Hybrid is the main vehicle

In fact, in the the technology route of new energy bus, there have had a heated debate on whether to promoting the hybrid or to promoting the pure electric passenger buses. After the “Ten City 1000" campaign, this controversy has a final conclusion. By the end of June 2012, in the 11,104 new energy buses invested by 25 cities, there are 9510 hybrid buses and 1594 pure electric transit buses. The hybrid buses occupy more than 85% and are absolutely the main forces.

Based on the status, on August 6, 2012, the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Science, the Ministry of Industry, Development and Reform Commission issued "Notice on the Expansion of hybrid urban bus demonstration promotion scope "and decided to outreach hybrid buses (including plug-in hybrid electric buses) from the current 25 energy-saving and new energy vehicle demonstration cities to the whole cities.

In fact, the priority promotion of hybrid buses is also in line with our current development of new energy bus. Pure electric vehicle technology is not yet mature and its price is high. Hybrid bus technology is mature, the price is slightly lower. So the policy making side and the operational side, are both inclined to choose hybrid bus as a new energy demonstration models.

It is worthwhile to notice there is a new trend in the hybrid bus that the gas-electric hybrid buses began getting special favorites from some operators. For example, there are Haige gas-electric hybrid buses in the bus line of Guangdong, Suzhou. According to the reports, Haige gas-electric hybrid bus are hybrid buses that uses liquefied natural gas to get instead of diesel engine, and has the characters of infinitely variable speed motor, automatic clutch, and low emissions.

It is foreseeable that hybrid buses will be continuously used as main models of China's new energy bus demonstration and operation in the coming years.

3. Operating is not as successful as expected

"Speaking of hybrid bus, the propaganda is energy saving 30%, while speaking of pure electric buses; it said that the fuel costs are much cheaper than electricity. In fact, these cars are not simply in that case." Many new Energy Bus demonstration units have such a consensus.

It is understood that, the saving rate of most hybrid buses is around 15% in actual operation at this stage. In the actual operation of many pure electric passenger cars, the battery is still the short board that hinders the development of new energy bus. High failure rate and high maintenance costs are also universal problems in the demonstration of new energy buses.

Despite the difficulties in the demonstration of use of new energy buses, the using range of the new energy bus range is still expanding. Some cities that did not join the project previously are actively promoting the use of new energy bus. Indeed, there are a variety of views on the assessment the demonstration of new energy buses. Voices from the industry focused on operations and help promote the new energy bus in technology, especially to the related promotion of the core components of technological progress; while the sound from the demonstration operating units focused on these new energy buses did not meet the expected energy savings results. The declared fuel saving rate is out of expectation, and subsequent maintenance costs are also much higher than conventional diesel vehicles.

Despite different views, the new energy bus, especially the promotion and application of hybrid buses, will speed up the pace. On the one hand four ministries issued "Notice on the Expansion of hybrid urban bus demonstration promotion scope” clearly declare that the demonstration of hybrid buses will be spread across the country, on the other hand the countrywide fog and haze also highlights the environmental advantages of new energy buses. In the year 2013, whether the new energy passenger car market will grow up and become mature remains to be seen

V Analysis of the Current Difficulties of the New Energy Bus Market

According to market research, in the nearly five year, the country started "Ten City 1000" new energy vehicle demonstration, the new energy buses develop rapidly and has great hope under the government policy. But the difficulties and problems are also prominent. According to the authoritative professional research institutions, the reliability of the vehicle, the safety of battery, unclear hybrid technology roadmap and inadequate relevant facilities are still the main problems of current new energy buses.

According to authorities tracking research, from January to May in 2013, demonstration and application problems of new energy buses remain in the following areas

First, the new energy automobile manufacturing is not at forward design stage but is at modified stage and is lack of core technology patents. We should pay great attention to promotion of safety, reliability technology and lightweight technology.

Second, battery performance level, such as battery materials, specific energy, specific power, longevity and price, is still lagging behind the world level, restricting development of new energy vehicles (passenger cars) and causing problems in high or low temperature conditions.

Third, excess capacity. Mainstream enterprises and private enterprises invest money in research and development of new energy bus and manufacturing base. The scale is more than 50,000 vehicles, which is exceeding the market demand and is worrying.

Fourth, the high inputs make the short-term commercial operation difficult. Since the new energy buses are more expensive than large diesel passenger cars, buses car companies need to rely on government subsidies. Take hybrid buses for example, it could only compete with diesel buses if the prices is only 150,000 to 200,000 higher than diesel buses. The new energy bus market will has big rise and fall if the definite technology roadmap of new energy automotive (such as hybrid technology roadmap) changed or government "weaning".

Fifth, the charging stations and other infrastructure construction is lagging behind. At present there are more than 80,000 gas stations, which is the network layout accumulation of decades. It will take at least 10years to inform the same network layout as the gas station.

Sixth, the central government's stance on electric car industry has undergone some subtle changes, but overall is still supporting this industry, which has brought some uncertainty is the development of pure electric passenger car market, so pure electric bus manufacturing enterprises that produce pure electric passenger thinks that the risk still exists, which undoubtedly inhibit future development of pure electric passenger car, thus further affecting the new energy bus market.


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