China EV Charging Roadmap Prediction 2021

Sean Wang (M.A.Sc), Key Account Manager, Automotive Business Unit,  SINBON ElectronicsSean Wang (M.A.Sc), Key Account Manager, Automotive Business Unit, SINBON Electronics
In 2020, despite the coronavirus pandemic, the number of EV sales worldwide continued to hit a new high. According to recent data from Electric Vehicle World Sales Database (01/2021).

“Europe passed China in EV sales with a 137% increase in a disturbed auto market, and the real EV boom in Europe started in June and July, with a 260% increase of y/y growth and a market share of 20 %. All OEM did their very best to reach their CO2 emission targets. Also, China NEV sales recovered in the 2nd half, with an average +80% volume growth y/y from July to December. As these volumes compare to the weak results of 2019 H2, they were back to normal at best.

EV sales in USA (+4% y/y) outperformed the auto-market (-15% y/y) mostly from the introduction of the Model-Y. Tesla extended its sector domination, with 62% of all Plug-in Vehicle sales and 79% of all BEV sales in the US coming from Tesla”. However, the rapid localization of Tesla Model 3 and the huge sales of 140,000 vehicles, accounting for 28.1% of Tesla's global sales, has attracted great attention. In fact, for every ten EVs sold in China, there must be one Tesla. The introduction of Tesla into China has caused a positive catfish effect which pushes the Chinese EV manufacturers to quickly adjust their product strategies and invest more in R&D.
Also, thanks to China government's huge investment in energy infrastructure in recent years, the EV manufacturers and charging equipment suppliers have come up with some very promising strategies together.

1. High-power charging.

The next-generation ultra-high power charging standard (CHAdeMO 3.0), also known as ‘ChaoJi’ will be officially released and put into commercial use in 2021, OEM companies will speed up the research and development process on ChaoJi high-power charging technology. The new standard allowing for a maximum current of 600A which will accelerate the development of high-power charging infrastructure market. SINBON has been working with one of these OEMs to design a 600A ChaoJi charging port, the high temperature comes along with high power transmission, lead to extremely tough thermal management, and the design adopts ultrasonic welding technology for large AWG and new materials to lower the temperature rise.

2. Battery swap mode.

This standard, which is led by NIO, has been implemented in 2020. NIO will build 500 battery swap plants in China in 2021. It only takes 3 minutes to charge the battery from 0 to 100%, even faster than that of 600A charging current, which greatly improves people's experience of EV charging while they are traveling. It is reported that more car manufacturers are working out strategies for battery swap, and SINBON has actively participated in the increasing demand for the connectors and wiring harness.

3. Household DC charging

Because of Tesla's aggressive pricing strategy, all the EV manufacturers are trying to reduce the cost of vehicles. The most effective way to reduce cost is to remove OBC and AC charging units, but it requires EV manufacturers to develop alternative household DC charging equipment. This market is expected to be activated in 2021. For this demand, SINBON has already designed low voltage DC charging cable from 7kW to 20kW, which can provide customers with off the shelf or completely customized product.

The above is SINBON's prediction of the new growth momentum of China's charging equipment in 2021. Although the charging roadmap is slightly different from Europe & the US, and these new standards or products are more challenging in design and material selection, the roadmaps are expected to influence the market in the next 5-10 years. SINBON will also actively design and launch new products to cope with these needs.

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