CATL Officer at Davos: No More Fuel Vehicles by 2035

At the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2022 currently taking place in Davos, Switzerland, Ni Jun, the chief manufacturing officer of Chinese battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Limited (CATL) stated: “Based on the new energy vehicle plans issued by major countries and governments around the world, there will be no fuel vehicles on the market by 2030 or 2035 at the latest.”

Ni also mentioned that China’s new energy vehicle industry is developing rapidly, and that China sold 3.5 million new energy vehicles in 2021. In the first quarter of 2022, China’s market penetration rate of new energy vehicles reached 20%. From January to April 2022, the overall sales volume of new energy vehicles more than doubled, while the automobile market decreased annually.

According to data released by the China Association of Automotive Manufacturers (CAAM) on May 11, Chinese power battery installations in April 2022 amounted to 13.3 GWh, up 58.1% year-on-year and down 38% quarter-on-quarter. Among the involved companies, CATL ranked first, with a monthly loading volume of 5.08GWh, accounting for 38.28%.

Ni Jun also revealed that CATL had not only carried out innovative R&D at the user end, but also increased products’ R&D at the power generation and transmission end. He said: “With the development of new renewable energy, the intermittent power generation mode will have a great impact on the traditional power grid. A large number of energy storage systems are needed for stabilizing the generated electricity.”

At present, while the world’s energy structure basically still depends on fossil fuels for power generation, Chinese energy structure is shifting its focus from the traditional thermal power generation to a power system dominated by new energy. Accordingly, new energy sources such as wind, photovoltaic power, hydropower and nuclear power will see significant development.

Regarding the Chinese environment and market, many of the leading renewable energy sources are located in the western parts of the country, but electricity consumption is basically concentrated along the eastern coast. For the huge demand of “power transmission from west to east,” China has carried out extensive UHV transmission projects. During this process, it is also necessary to expand capacity and stabilize the operations of the whole power grid, and a large amount of energy storage systems are necessary for frequency modulation and peak shaving.

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Energy structure transformation has become an important development trend in various countries and regions at present. For example, European countries and Japan have taken the lead in proposing legislation to ban the sale of fuel-based vehicles. Simultaneously, some of the world’s major automakers will stop selling fossil fuel vehicles in the future. In April this year, BYD announced that it had stopped the production of fuel vehicles since March, becoming the first traditional car company in the world to achieve this milestone.