On 27 October 2020, the China Society of Automotive Engineers (China SAE) released the Technology Roadmap for Energy Saving and New Energy Vehicles 2.0 (hereinafter referred to as “Technology Roadmap 2.0”) during its 2020 Annual Conference and Exhibition. Under the guidance of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT), the Technology Roadmap 2.0 was compiled by China SAE and experts in the field. The Technology Roadmap 2.0, which builds upon a first 1.0 version previously released in October 2016, aims to provide guidance and decision-making support to government, industry, and the scientific research community.
The Technology Roadmap 2.0 integrates new technological developments and addresses shortcomings emerged after the first 1.0 version, and clearly indicates the path of auto technological development towards low-carbon, information-oriented and smartification. In this context, the Technology Roadmap 2.0 outlines six major goals to be achieved by China’s auto industry development by 2035:
- The carbon emissions of China’s auto industry will reach the peak in 2028, ahead of the national carbon emission reduction commitment. By 2035, the total carbon emissions will drop by more than 20% compared to its peak levels;
- New energy vehicles (NEV) will gradually become the mainstream product, guiding the transformation of the entire auto industry towards electrification;
- Intelligent connected vehicle technologies will be mature and widely applied;
- Key core technologies will be significantly improved, an intelligent mobility system comprising travel, energy and urban development will be established;
- The technological innovation system will be improved, and will obtain the original innovation capabilities to lead the world.
The Technology Roadmap 2.0 clearly emphasises the electricity-driven development strategy: it estimates that by 2035, the annual sales of electric vehicles will account for more than 95% of all NEV sales in China, the number of fuel cell car ownership will reach 1 million, while energy-saving vehicles will be largely converted to hybrid vehicles, contributing to the transformation towards electrification of the entire auto industry.
In addition, the Technology Roadmap 2.0 puts forward the plan for the construction of China’s intelligent connected auto technology systems and a new industrial ecology. It also mentions that, by 2035, various connected autonomous vehicles will be widely utilised in China, and that deep integration will be achieved among intelligent connected vehicles and smart energy, intelligent transportation and smart cities.
The Technology Roadmap 2.0 further upgraded the research framework of the Overall Technology Roadmap + Technology Roadmap for Key Areas, by expanding the research layout from the previous “1+7” model to “1+9”: ‘1’ refers to the Overall Technology Roadmap, while ‘9’ refers to energy-saving vehicles, pure electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, hydrogen-powered battery vehicles, intelligent connected vehicles, automotive power batteries, NEV electric drive integrated systems, charging infrastructure, lightweight automobile, and automotive intelligent manufacturing and key equipment.
The nine major technology development orientation outlined by the Technology Roadmap 2.0 (1+9)
The Technology Roadmap for Energy Saving and New Energy Vehicles plays a key role in supporting relevant government technological and industrial plans, and in contributing to technological innovation and resource clustering. In the previous years, the National Manufacturing Strategy Advisory Committee and MIIT entrusted China SAE to work, together with more than 500 experts from the fields of automobile, energy, materials, and communication, on the development of a technology roadmap – which was completed and issued in October 2016. However, since the release of the Technology Roadmap 1.0, the entire automotive industry continued to face numerous internal and external changes, constantly evolving with time. In this context, and with the objective to support China’s 2021-2035 NEV plan and the auto-related components of the 14th Five-year Plan (2021-2025), China SAE gathered more than a thousand experts to work on an updated version of the Technology Roadmap; after extensive research and nearly one hundred expert seminars and review meetings, the framework and content of the new Technology Roadmap 2.0 was completed and now published.
Drafted by Ming