China's future development direction of light vehicle power technology

For the current light vehicle market in China, the diesel engine is mainly concentrated in the light commercial vehicle sector. The development of the passenger vehicle sector is constrained by the following factors:

1. Because of the complex and high-precision components necessary, the price of diesel engines is higher than that of gasoline engines;

2. In the Chinese market, diesel has a slight price advantage over gasoline;

3. In most Chinese consumers' minds, diesel cars are still smoky cars with low grades:

4. Low-quality diesel further hinders diesel vehicle emissions and combustion efficiency;

5. Although the government has issued some policies to encourage diesel vehicles, we have yet to see truly operational incentives. Therefore, many manufacturers still adopt a wait-and-see attitude.

Of course from the other side. If oil prices continue to rise, the above disadvantages will be offset by the high efficiency of diesel vehicles. However, it takes time to change the concept of consumers, so we believe that at least in the next 10 years, gasoline engines will still dominate the Chinese passenger car market. After 10 years, diesel vehicles may take away some of the passenger car market share.

From the technical level, in order to improve the combustion efficiency and emission levels of diesel engines. There are two main development trends in the world. We think the same applies to China.

Common rail technology: Advanced common rail technology can significantly increase the efficiency of diesel engines and reduce emissions. It is predicted that in 2011, nearly 50% of diesel vehicles will be equipped with this system.

Turbocharging: With intercooled technology, turbocharging will effectively improve engine performance. Its development route will be from the variable nozzle, the 2-stage pressurizing variable interface to the advanced electronically controlled booster.

Hybrid development is not yet clear

Hybrid technology has been considered by many in the industry as the best solution for environmental protection and energy saving at this stage. Get government support at all levels. At the end of 2005, Toyota had partnered with FAW Group to launch a Prius hybrid car in China. Dongfeng, Chery, Changan, and BYD are all developing their own hybrid products. The Dongfeng Hybrid Bus has been finalized prototype test of the final product in 2005 and passed acceptance. Changan and Chery also have plans to launch their own hybrid vehicles.

At present, the main challenge of hybrid power in China comes from several aspects.

1. The technical feasibility from the perspective of the host plant will be a great challenge. As we all know. Mature hybrid technologies still have a monopoly on a few international giants such as Toyota of Japan. For autonomous development, whether it is possible to develop a hybrid technology suitable for mass production in the short term is a big challenge for Chinese companies with relatively weak R&D capabilities. If a company from Toyota and other companies to buy technology domestic enterprises can bear a huge amount of technology transfer fees?

2. How to formulate hybrid technology standards and preferential measures from the government's perspective is also very difficult. Simply adopting the standards of a few foreign companies will not be conducive to the development of hybrid vehicles of other local companies.

3. From the perspective of consumers. Although China is gradually entering the automobile society, for a large number of consumers, hybrid vehicles that are 2 to 30 thousand yuan higher than ordinary cars will still be unacceptable.

4. From the technical point of view, hybrid power is challenged by the development of conventional internal combustion engine technology. For example, gasoline direct injection and advanced diesel engines can also be greatly improved in terms of energy saving.

The use of hybrid technology in city taxis and buses can improve fuel economy and emissions. Use on other roads does not show the superiority of hybrid technology. General hybrid technology uses gasoline or diesel and battery (motor) hybrids.

Global Insight believes that the prospects of hybrid power in China will not be clear until the above problems are solved. In general, if the government can not introduce extremely favorable policies for manufacturers and consumers, hybrid power in China is difficult to get high-speed development.

Three Challenges in China's Fuel Cell Vehicle Research

Fuel cell vehicles received strong support from the national government during the National "Tenth Five-Year Plan" period. Preliminary achievements have also been made in the inclusion of the National 863 Project. For example, the University of Kochi has launched the "Beyond No. 3" fuel cell car. However, Global Perspectives believes that fuel cell vehicles will not be industrialized in China and internationally in the next 20 years. Specific to China, the main challenges are the following:

1. The mastery of core technologies such as fuel cells and control systems: The monopoly of the world’s major research institutions on core technologies is still strong, while the current domestic R&D is mainly concentrated in a few private enterprises, universities and research institutes, and R&D capabilities are relatively international. Big companies are still weak. This model itself determines the disadvantage of industrialization. The strengths of the university lie in basic and advanced research, and it has a great disadvantage for the manufacturing process and product optimization needed for industrialization. Companies are less enthusiastic in this regard because they do not see short-term returns.

2. Control of costs: As we all know, the cost of fuel cells has remained high. According to the authoritative report of the US Department of Energy, the average cost of an internal combustion engine is now 25 to 35 US$/kW, and the fuel cell price should be 30 US$/kW to be competitive in transportation applications. Current fuel cell cost is 300-500 USD/kW. At the same time, they predict that this goal can be achieved by 2015. Whether China can surpass the United States to achieve this goal in advance will be a big unknown. Of course, on the other hand, even if the cost problem is not resolved, the government's support can be subsidized, and government procurement, etc., may play a role in mass production under China's special conditions.

3. Supporting construction of infrastructure: The construction of infrastructure will be another very important reason. These include the collection, storage and transportation of hydrogen, and the construction of hydrogen refuelling stations. Before all of these infrastructures are complete, mass production of fuel cells will be difficult. All these need the joint promotion of the government and the enterprise. Hydrogen can be produced from electrolyzed water, hydrogen from solar energy, hydrogen from natural gas and other methods. Different views have been made on the hydrogen production so far. Plus the huge investment in hydrogenation stations has led to the development of national hydrogen refueling stations. Only 81 of the hydrogen refueling stations put into operation are under construction.

4. The life of the fuel cell stack is still not up to expectations. Some technical problems still need to be solved.


In China, the manual transmission is still the mainstream of the vehicle transmission. Specifically, there are two reasons: First, currently domestic companies have basically mastered the development of manual transmissions, so to a certain extent, increase the price advantage of manual transmissions; in addition, the vast majority of Chinese drivers use their hands when learning a car. Motor cars, they enjoy the driving pleasure brought by manual vehicles. In terms of automatic transmissions, except that Geely Automobile has developed a hydraulically controlled three-speed automatic transmission with independent intellectual property rights, none of the other companies have independent intellectual property rights and rely fully on foreign technology and imports. However, with the acceleration of urbanization in China and population growth, the urban traffic situation will worsen and China’s purchasing power will be mainly concentrated in cities. On the other hand, for most Chinese families, having only one car means that several family members may use the car at the same time. The benefits of the automatic transmission to women members are self-evident. So overall, the market share of automatic transmissions will continue to increase.

From the perspectives of technology, energy saving and infrastructure, we briefly analyze the development trends of various transmissions in China:

1. Manual Transmission (MT): The manual transmission should be said to be the most energy-saving transmission. In addition, Chinese companies have mastered this technology and have accumulated long-term experience in production, which will have a great advantage in terms of price and quality. Therefore, it will still be the mainstream of the transmission in the short term. Its deficiency lies in the inconvenience of control, especially in urban conditions.

2. Automatic Transmission (Planetary Gear): The main features of the electronically controlled hydraulically controlled planetary gear automatic transmission are its ease of operation and its comfortable driving comfort. However, due to the use of torque converters, its fuel economy has been low. But on the other hand, because it is completely controlled by the on-board computer, if there is reasonable proceduralization, there should be much room for improvement in emissions. Due to its relatively mature technology, we believe it will become the mainstream automatic transmission. The control mode will be converted from hydraulic control to electronic control. At the same time, more stalls will be introduced.

3. Continuously variable speed (CVT): Because it can provide good driving comfort and fuel efficiency, its matching advantages for small displacement small torque engines, "Global Insight" that it should be well developed in China.

4. Dual-clutch transmission (DCT): The dual-clutch transmission uses two clutches (dry or wet) to control the shift. This improves comfort while improving fuel efficiency. In fact, China's current manual transmission production facilities will be very conducive to the development of dual clutches. Although we believe that it will not become a leading product in the short term, it has great potential and Chinese companies can consider increasing investment in R&D in this area.

5. Automatic Mechanical Manual Transmission (AMT): Since it is essentially a manual transmission with a control system, still controlled by a single clutch, the torque interruption during the gear shift process is theoretically unavoidable so we automatically Mechanical manual transmission will not occupy a large proportion in the Chinese market, at least in the development of light vehicles will not be optimistic.

According to our investigation and research, we will respond to and develop policies, regulations, and technologies for the Chinese market in the next 20 years.

in conclusion

With the increasingly tight supply of oil, the government will continue to introduce policies to encourage the development of energy-efficient cars. At the same time, more stringent emission regulations will be introduced, but overall, to the constraints of technical conditions, China will not be ahead of Europe in 20 years.

The internal combustion engine will still make the mainstream of vehicle power, and hybrid vehicles will still maintain low market acceptance. At least in the next 10-20 years, it will be difficult for fuel cell vehicles to form commercial production.

Manual transmissions will still dominate the market in the short term, but automatic transmissions will continue to be favored by the market. We believe that the dual clutch technology has great potential in China, and domestic companies can consider increasing investment in R&D.

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