Xpeng Motors has brought onboard smartphone maker Xiaomi as a strategic investor, as the Alibaba-backed new energy vehicle (NEV) startup announced $400 million in Series C funding.Why it matters: Xpeng’s hefty haul comes against a macro-industrial backdrop of falling sales after subsidies for electric vehicles were cut over the summer, creating an increasingly difficult funding environment for NEV startups.Major players including Nio are struggling to get close to sales targets as NEV deliveries stalled in the second half of the year.Sales fell sequentially for three consecutive months beginning in July, while year-on-year rates of decline deepened from 4.7% in July to 34.2% in September.It is a business that is still very much in the ramping up stage and we have to invest in research and development, in building our sales and services network, and completing our manufacturing plant, which we aim to have built by the end of this year.We have been working closely with Xiaomi on smart devices and they have the IoT leadership in China, and even globally, and smart auto could be a very good extension of the ecosystem.”
Nio will provide delivery services for orders of the first Hycan-branded electric vehicle model, part of the NEV maker’s joint venture with state-owned partner GAC Group.Shipments will start in the first half of next year.This would serve as another chance for the embattled EV maker to forge out new revenue streams as it deals with capital-intensive sales and service operations.Detail: From April 2020, Nio will offer complete delivery services for the first all-electric crossover model from Hycan, according to a statement on Thursday.Services provided include but are not limited to warehousing, logistics and license registration for customers.The firm will also open its valet charging service to Hycan owners.
Volvo's brand-new, all-electric XC40 is technically called the XC40 Recharge.But as it turns out, Recharge isn't a designation being saved purely for this EV.Whether it's a plug-in hybrid or a full EV, Recharge is how Volvo will identify its electrified offerings within its portfolio."From early 2020, customers entering the Volvo Cars website will first be asked whether they want a Volvo Recharge car or not," the company said in a statement Wednesday."We have said this several times before: For Volvo Cars, the future is electric," company CEO Håkan Samuelsson added, and this will trickle down right to the dealer experience.Where things start to (potentially) get confusing is in the naming structure.
Defying peak seasonal patterns, China’s electric vehicle market gave little indication of a rebound in September as Geely, BYD, and JAC Motors reported dismal sales figures on Thursday, pressured by a reduction in government subsidies and broader economic headwinds.Why it matters: Flagging sales in new energy vehicles (NEV) is weighing on Chinese players angling to gain a foothold in the world’s largest EV market absent government support.NEVs sales in China declined for the first time in July, falling 5% year on year to 80,000 units, according to figures from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).In August, sales dropped much more sharply, falling 16% year on year despite a modest sequential uptick in total units delivered to 85,000.Auto industry watchers had forecasted NEV sales would begin to recover in September after bottoming out in July and August as a result of a reduction in government subsidies.Detail: China’s largest EV maker BYD reported a notable drop in sales to 13,681 NEVs in September, declining 18% month on month and sinking by more than half compared with the same period a year ago.
Electric vehicle maker Xpeng Motors has started delivering the 2020 version of its first mass market SUV model, the G3, timed for what experts foresee will be a pickup in Chinese new energy vehicle market at the end of the year.Why it matters: The delivery of XPeng’s newest model follows a July backlash from consumers over the unexpected release of the G3 2020 version, which features an extended driving range and lower price tag.Customers who had just ordered the G3 2019 edition parked outside of the company’s Guangzhou headquarters on July 13 in protest of the new model launch.Some had placed orders for the older model days earlier at full price, and were demanding a replacement or refund.Details: Xpeng Motors began delivering its updated G3 model on Friday at a trade event in the southwestern city of Chengdu.The 2020 edition boasts an extended 520 kilometer range meeting New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) standards—a widely used measurement for vehicle emissions and fuel economy—and a self-developed operating system with assisted driving features tailored for domestic road conditions and driving habits.
It is dark days for China’s auto industry: New automobile purchases have declined for the past 13 months, while new energy vehicle (NEV) sales fell in July for the first time in two years as Beijing moves to cut subsidies.China has been the world’s largest electric vehicle (EV) market since 2015, and is also home to around 500 EV startups as municipal governments seek out local EV success stories.However, the demands of delivering to the market—manufacturing, supply chain, retail channels, customers, and safety—is a challenge for startups and only a few companies can survive, Zhang Li, partner of Cathay Capital, said Thursday at the TechNode Tech After Hours Series event in Shanghai.Young EV makers have been struggling to stay afloat in a shrinking capital market and economic slowdown.Nio, a Chinese EV frontrunner, on Thursday announced it will cut another 1,200 jobs by the end of September.Still, it is one of the few Chinese EV makers that has actually delivered cars to customers, setting it apart from most of the industry, where many others are on the verge of bankruptcy.
New energy vehicle watchers are concerned about the industry.NEV companies have struggled as the central government has pulled subsidies faster that the market was expecting.Fully electric vehicles are characterized by an architecture with less kinetic parts and less need for integration, presenting an opportunity for Chinese carmakers to skip phases in the development of automotive technology and directly leapfrog into the newest developments such as batteries and fuel cells.This plan is continuing, and it will support those who can move to take advantage of coming policy priorities—but it will be a bumpy ride for anyone who doesn’t keep up.In the period of industrial cultivation, the government used policy incentives, gather technology and industrial resources forming industry clusters while encouraging the development and production of the products and guiding market consumption.As the industry reaches maturity, the government planned to step back and leave the market to allocate resources, with state action to create a good market environment promoting large-scale commercial enterprises.
Toyota announced Friday that it will work with BYD to jointly develop all-electric vehicles and onboard batteries following an announcement in June about a battery deal with the Chinese electric automaker.Why it matters: Growth in domestic new energy vehicle (NEV) sales are ramping up, and global OEMs are looking to grab share in the world’s largest auto market.June NEV sales rose 80% year on year to 152,000 as the central government continues to promote mass adoption of electric vehicles to fight climate change.The National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top economic planner, said in a statement last month that municipal governments are prohibited from imposing limits on new energy vehicles in the form of license plate quotas.Details: Toyota and BYD will jointly develop battery electric vehicles (BEVs), including sedans and low-floor SUVs, as well as onboard batteries for the BEVs and other vehicles.The vehicles are expected to hit the China market under the Toyota brand name from 2020 to 2025.
Guangzhou’s municipal government unveiled plans to become “China’s Detroit” by setting targets of nearly double current production capacity by 2025 with heavy emphasis on new energy and driverless vehicles.Why it matters: Switching goals from becoming the world’s vehicle plant to a global powerhouse in smart and electric mobility are in line with the central government’s core initiatives.Guangzhou is not the first Chinese municipality which seeks to transform the city’s auto industry into an innovation hub.Chongqing announced (in Chinese) earlier this year that the city is targeting a goal of producing 10%, or 3.2 million units, of China’s total annual auto output in 2022.Half will be either new energy or smart vehicles, or a combination of both.Details: Guangzhou is offering strong financial support, including land resources and government funds, to bolster NEV companies clustered around the city, said the municipal government in a file released Wednesday.
Amazon cut the prices on ChargePoint, JuiceBox, and Siemens Level 2 electric vehicle (EV) home chargers to help plug-in vehicle drivers recharge their car and SUV batteries much faster than plugging into a regular home electrical outlet.The chargers vary in power, ranging from 30 to 40 amps, in the length of the charging cables, and connection method to your electrical service — plug-in or hardwired.If you’ve been planning to invest in a Level 2 charger for your home or have gotten tired of the long recharge times when you plug into a regular 110- to 120-volt outlet, these five deals can help you save up to $150.ChargePoint Level 2 Home EV Charger – hardwired, 18-foot cable— $130 offChargePoint’s Level 2 EV home chargers are 240-volt 32-amp stations that charge your vehicle up to six times faster than plugging it into a regular wall outlet.When you plug in to one of the ChargePoint models, your car adds up to 25 miles of driving range per hour.
China is working on changing the new energy vehicle (NEV) mandate policy, also known as dual credit policy, in an effort to close an emissions loophole that automakers were exploiting.Why it matters: Automakers in China piled into the electric vehicle market in response to incentives created by local governments which, in its calculus, weighted the production of electric vehicles five-to-one.The Chinese government had previously set a goal that all-electric vehicles should make up around 20% of total car sales in 2025, which means most of the balance would be gas-powered.Analysts say that the policy change signals a renewed emphasis on gasoline-electric hybrid vehicle, which had been excluded from purchase subsidies for new energy vehicles in China.Details: China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) released a modified version of its NEV policy on Tuesday, which stipulates that fuel-efficient vehicles could offset 20% of the credits set for corresponding electric cars.Effective beginning April 2018, the earlier rule specified that each vehicle be assigned a specific number of credits depending on its energy-saving efficiency level.
BYD, China’s largest producer of electric vehicles, says that recently announced cuts to government subsidies for new energy vehicles won’t impact the industry’s long-term growth.In a filing to the Shenzhen Stock Exchange (SZSE) on Tuesday, the company said that the reductions will help shift the sector away from being policy driven to one driven by market conditions.BYD filed the disclosure after the company was asked by the SZSE to clarify issues in its 2018 annual report.“Subsidies will have a short-term impact on demand and the profitability of new energy vehicle makers, but they will not alter the long-term growth trend of the new energy auto industry,” (our translation) the company said.BYD added that it is difficult to predict the impact of the subsidy cuts on the company’s profits from new energy vehicles.In March, the Chinese government announced changes to its subsidy structure, saying that automakers rely too heavily on government support to sell vehicles, thereby sacrificing innovation in the sector.
This article by Eudora Wang originally appeared on China Money Network, the best data intelligence platform tracking China’s tech and venture capital markets (access requires subscription).Statistics show that the Chinese venture capital market remains volatile in the recent months in the wake of the longstanding capital winter, while global trade tensions and political uncertainties are still unsettled.An aggregate of 213 VC financing deals worth $5.5 billion were recorded in April 2019, slightly down compared with the $5.82 billion raised across 240 deals in March, according to China Money Network’s China VC Tracker released today.China VC Tracker is produced based on proprietary data collected by China Money Network.The largest deal in April 2019 was a $446 million series B round completed by Chinese new energy vehicles maker Hozon Auto.The new round was led by a Chinese government industry fund, with participation from other strategic investors, said Hozon Auto chairman Zhang Yong at the 18th Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition on April 22.
What happened: Chinese automaker Geely, which holds investments in Daimler and Volvo, has launched a premium electric vehicle (EV) brand as it seeks to boost production of new energy vehicles.Dubbed Geometry, the brand will focus on China but will also take orders overseas, with plans to launch 10 electric models by 2025.According to the company, customers have already placed 26,000 orders for its first model, the Geometry A.Why it’s important: Geely is pushing aggressively into the EV market.In March, the company took a 50% stake in Daimler’s microcar brand Smart through a joint venture.The two companies will build a factory in China, and the vehicles are expected to go on sale by 2022.