Low-carbon transition creates opportunities for Sino-German NEV cooperation-Xinhua

Visitors walk past an FAW-Volkswagen New Energy Vehicle during the 19th China (Changchun) International Automobile Expo in Changchun, capital of northeast China’s Jilin Province, July 18, 2022. (Source: Xinhua/Zhang Jian)

HEFEI, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) — The global goal of CO2 reduction and the transformation of the automobile industry have created tremendous opportunities for Sino-German cooperation in the field of new energy vehicles (NEV), industry experts said at the Sino- German forum for the development of the NEV industry.

As part of the 2022 World Manufacturing Convention in Hefei, capital of east China’s Anhui Province, the forum was attended by experts and heads of NEV companies from both countries.

“Both China and Germany are leading countries in automobile production and have developed complementary advantages in automobile technology and in the market. Cooperation in the automotive industry between the two countries has been carried out in several fields and has achieved remarkable results,” said Xiong Meng, an official of the China Federation of Industrial Economics.

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China has a booming NEV market, with both sales and production ranking first in the world for seven consecutive years. The promising development of the Chinese NEV market has inspired confidence in the cooperation.

In August alone, China’s NEV sales volume was 530,000 units, up 111 percent year-on-year. Such sales success showed that the future market has enormous potential, said Erwin Gabardi, CEO of Volkswagen Anhui.

Many Sino-German cooperation projects, covering both upstream and downstream of the NEV industry chain, are in full swing.

In June, Chinese battery cell manufacturer Gotion High-Tech held a launch ceremony for Gotion Germany at its site in Goettingen, Germany. China’s leading automaker FAW and German automaker Audi launched a project to produce pure electric vehicles in Changchun, capital of northeastern Jilin Province, in the same month.

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Volkswagen Anhui will begin pre-series production of its first model next month, with mass production planned for 2023.

The NEV cooperation is closely linked to the green and low-carbon vision of the two countries.

Hildegard Müller, President of the German Association of the Automotive Industry, said that profound changes are taking place in the automotive industry. The European Union is targeting carbon neutrality by 2050 under the European Green Deal, and China has said it will peak carbon emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060. These goals pose major challenges for the automotive industry.

“We are committed to enabling climate neutrality, but we can only achieve the goals together,” said Müller.

The concept of green manufacturing is deeply embedded in China’s industrial development strategy, Gabardi said. Volkswagen’s new MEB plant in Anhui will be powered by green energy and incorporate energy-saving strategies to reduce overall carbon emissions, he said.

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Li Ming, general manager of Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group Corp., Ltd., said the new trends in the automotive industry, including electrification, connectivity and intelligence, are leading Sino-German cooperation into a new era.

Li said the new bilateral cooperation will not only promote coordinated development in the era of intelligent connected vehicles and realize green transformation, but also deepen economic and trade cooperation between the two countries and promote global economic growth.

The global NEV industry has recently been hit hard by chip shortages and rising battery costs. Forum participants said they believe close cooperation between NEV companies in China and Germany could help improve the resilience of industrial and supply chains.

“China and Germany should deepen the integrated and coordinated development of industrial chains based on their own advantages and join forces to fight chip shortages and skyrocketing commodity prices,” Li said.

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