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The "power exchange mode" on the tuyere: the standard is not unified, and it is difficult for the enterprise to make a profit.
Sep 23,2020 09:01CST
translation
[the "power exchange mode" on the tuyere: the standard is not unified, it is difficult for enterprises to make profits] when the new energy vehicle power exchange mode ushered in the tuyere, a series of practical problems have been placed in front of us. The small number of replacement power stations, the long waiting time for car owners, and the difficulty of profit of the main operators of the replacement power station have all become the pain points in the operation process of the current power exchange mode. Among them, the most important thing is that the standards are not unified, so it is difficult to realize the "interchangeability" of battery boxes between different brands and models.
The content below was translated by Tencent automatically for reference.

SMM News: when the new energy vehicle power exchange mode ushered in the tuyere, a series of practical problems have been placed in front of us.

According to the reporter's investigation, it is found that the small number of power stations, the long waiting time for car owners and the difficulty in making profits of the operators of the power stations have all become the pain points in the operation process of the current power exchange mode. Among them, the most important thing is that the standards are not unified, so it is difficult to realize the "interchangeability" of battery boxes between different brands and models.

"the focus of power exchange is not on the technical route, but on how to break through the industrial chain and establish a new business model." On September 21, Wang Zidong, deputy secretary-general of the China Automotive Power Battery Industry Innovation Alliance (hereinafter referred to as "the Alliance"), told the Financial Associated Press that due to the impact of the epidemic, the previous launch process of the "Quick replacement Standard Battery Box Specification Standard" was shelved. "it is currently in the enterprise registration stage, and then it will be reported to the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which is expected to be officially launched as soon as the end of the year."

In contrast to Prince Zidong's optimism, Ma Xiaoli, another deputy secretary-general of the alliance, is much more cautious. "at present, two standards are being considered, one is for the replacement of the power station, and the other is based on the matching standard battery box of the replacement station." Ma Xiaoli said that the current situation is being sorted out as a whole, whether to set up a standard chassis power exchange or distribution power exchange, and whether it is unified into the same standard. "these things still need to be discussed."

The waiting time of the car owner grows into a "pain point".

"Last year, taxi companies generally replaced BAIC EU300 electric cars, which cost about 55 yuan per change of electricity and have a mileage of about 250km, which can be used for a whole day." At a power station in the eastern suburbs of Beijing, Master Lin, a taxi driver waiting for a change of electricity, told reporters.

The BAIC New Energy-owned exchange station, which has been in operation for nearly three years, now has 28 battery packs, but it is less fully charged, which means that car owners rarely replace fully charged batteries when they come to change electricity. Not only that, according to Master Lin, it is common to wait in line for more than half an hour to change electricity here during peak hours.

At the Weilai power station on Langjiayuan East Road, Chaoyang District, not far from the power station, a staff member reverses the car of the owner, Mr. Zhou, into the power station.

"Home is nearby, and [changing electricity] is more convenient than recharging." Mr. Zhou said he was lucky not to stand in line today.

According to the reporter's statistics, in just five minutes, there were six vehicles waiting for the power change at the Weilai power station, and all of them were told by the staff that they had to wait for more than ten minutes or more to change the electricity.

"although it only takes about seven minutes to change the electricity, none of the five batteries in the warehouse have been charged yet and it will take a while to wait." Station staff told reporters that as a 24-hour business site, can be changed about 90 times a day, "customer waiting phenomenon occurs from time to time."

Ms. Liang, the owner of Xilai, seems to be used to all this. She told reporters that the change of electricity is only as a temporary scheme, and it is more convenient to use charging piles at ordinary times. "in addition to having to wait longer for power stations in bustling locations, uneven distribution is also a big problem." Ms. Liang, who is waiting, said that she came here today from the closed Millennium Temple Station in the west of Beijing.

"I also had the experience of waiting for an hour or so before the rush hour." Car owner Mr. Zhou also told reporters, "Weilai has just upgraded the charging station, (waiting time) is not that long."

The power change mode is in the limelight.

Whether it is the taxi driver, Master Lin, or the two owners of Xilai, their experience is only a microcosm of the current power exchange mode. And BAIC New Energy and Weilai as the forerunner of the power exchange mode, the number of power stations has been far ahead of other brands.

As of the end of August this year, BAIC New Energy had a total of 222 switching power stations, according to the China Alliance for the Promotion of Electric vehicle charging Infrastructure, compared with the 94 in Hangzhou Botan, which ranked third.

"this year, we plan to put 30,000 electric vehicles on the market." Wang Chunfeng, deputy general manager of Beijing Automobile Blue Valley Marketing and Service Company, told reporters that at present, Langu has built and opened 187 power stations in 19 cities, 18000 power exchange vehicles have been put into operation, and a total of 4.8 million power changes have been completed, with a total mileage of 690 million km.

It is not only BAIC new energy that is heading to the tuyere of power exchange mode. In 2020, with the continuous encouragement and support of multi-departments, various automobile companies have focused their attention on the field of power exchange.

"We began to lay out and develop new energy models and technologies for power exchange in 2017, and more than 1000 power stations have been signed across the country." Yang Quankai, head of the power exchange module of Geely Technology Group, said, "with the national debut of Geely Technology Intelligent Exchange Power Station, 35 exchange power stations are planned to be built in Chongqing this year, 100 in 2021 and 200 in 2023. At the same time, with Chongqing as the center, Synchronize radiates the layout to Zhejiang, Shandong and other places, covering major cities, inter-provincial and highway networks throughout the country. "

According to the data, up to now, there are a total of 11435 active and existing enterprises related to the "new energy vehicle power exchange" business in China, while in 2019, the number of newly registered enterprises related to the "new energy vehicle power exchange" business is only 1335. Compared with last year, the number of enterprise registrations related to the "new energy vehicle power exchange" business this year increased by 804.2% compared with the same period last year.

"with the introduction of new regulations on power exchange subsidies, the cost disadvantage of the power exchange mode will be alleviated, and great benefits may be ushered in in the future." Yu Qingjiao, secretary-general of Zhongguancun New Battery Technology Innovation Alliance, said.

Profit and standards are still two big problems.

"there is no doubt that the power exchange mode has become a tuyere, but at present, the promotion of the power exchange mode is still faced with many problems." Wang Chunfeng said that there are two main factors: high investment and low return, and how to unify battery standards is also an urgent issue to be considered.

Public data show that the basic operating cost of a power station is 6.8 million yuan, and the actual operating cost may be higher. Large-scale construction tests the financial pressure of automobile companies.

"at most, we can change this station about 150 times a day." According to the staff of Beijing Bawangfen Olympic Power Station, affected by the diversion of the Red scarf Bridge Station after it was put into use, it is now about 80 times a day. "however, we have made a profit, which is very good. Some stations are changed more than a dozen times a day because of their geographical location. "

"in Beijing, BAIC's new energy exchange station layout can meet the service radius of 2.53 km in urban areas and 5.6 km in suburbs, which is similar to that of gas stations for users." According to Wang Chunfeng, take Guangzhou, which is currently generally profitable, as an example, there are 30 replacement power stations in operation, about 2200 service vehicles, and the daily mileage of electricity exchange has reached 750000 kilometers. On average, a car changes electricity 2.5 times a day, a single change of electricity is more than 140 kilometers, and the total mileage of single-shift operation is about 350 kilometers per day. According to the current standard of 0.35 yuan per kilometer, the cost of changing electricity per car is about 120 yuan per day.

According to this calculation, each power station must be changed at least a hundred times a day before it is possible to make a profit.

What is more noteworthy is that at present, the battery packs of different models on the market have different shapes and technical specifications, and the charging facilities of different companies are not the same, and there is a lack of interconnection between them, which hinders the development of the power exchange mode.

On September 17, the China Automotive Power Battery Industry Innovation Alliance issued a notice on the preparation of the specification standard for quick replacement of standard battery boxes and the recruitment of participating units. Prior to this, a total of 20 auto companies, such as FAW, SAIC, Dongfeng, BAIC, Lulai, and Ningde era, signed the Joint statement on the Construction of New Energy vehicles "vehicle-electricity Separation Model Ecosphere". It is clear that the relevant standards for power exchange will be studied and revised.

"I personally judge that the specification standard for quick replacement of standard battery boxes will probably not be available until next year." Ma Xiaoli gave his expectations.

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