China relies heavily on oil imports from abroad, and its domestic vehicle manufacturers haven’t been able to take on rivals from Japan, Europe and the US. With electrification, it’s hoping to become a major force, and this is where its traditional manufacturers come in.
Changan is one of China’s ‘Big Four’ domestic car makers. Last year, the state-owned firm sold over 2.87 million vehicles, equating to roughly 10% of China’s 28.8m new vehicle sales. Of that total figure, only 770,000 were new energy vehicles (NEVs) – China’s definition for alternative fuel vehicles that encompass hybrids, PHEVs, EVs and hydrogen cars, but this is set to grow rapidly in the future.
China is also home to some of the biggest lithium-ion battery manufacturers in the world, including BYD, Wanxiang and Lishen, placing China years ahead of the likes of Europe, which still has no battery manufacturing facilities.