Tesla Frequently Reduces the Price of Domestic Vehicles and Leaves Less Time for New Vehicles

 Tesla Frequently Reduces the Price of Domestic Vehicles and Leaves Less Time for New Vehicles

For pure electric vehicles, charging is an indispensable problem. Only when charging facilities are convenient enough, can electric vehicles be truly popular. Picture/Visual China

Although the odds of winning the gamble with Li Bin of Weilai Automobile are not great, it does not affect He Xiaopengs confidence in Xiaopeng Automobile.

On December 12, Xiaopeng G3, the first model of Xiaopeng automobile, was announced to be delivered, which marks that Xiaopeng automobile will enter mass production. Xiaopeng Automobile, a new automobile maker, is one of the earliest new energy automobile enterprises established, but also the latest delivery of the new force.

So far, Weilai, Weima and Xiaopeng automobiles, the three major new automobile manufacturers, have fully fulfilled their delivery commitments and entered the stage of capacity climbing. However, in front of the new car-making forces is an unprecedented complex situation.

Within the industry, these new car makers compete everywhere, with financing, marketing and price wars rising and falling. With the scale of the delivery of vehicles, product quality problems have also been exposed, poor endurance, frequent software failures become the focus of car owners Tucao object.

Outside, the Chinese automobile market began to fall in the second half of this year. Sales of new energy vehicles increased before subsidies declined. However, with the localization of Tesla and the accelerated impact of foreign brands into China, the time window for new Chinese automakers is closing.

Burning money is just the beginning, and the profit is far away.

The release of ES8 has earned Weilai enough attention, but at the same time, the loss caused by this model is also astonishing. Weilais three-quarter report shows that it delivered 3 268 ES8 vehicles in the quarter, with a net loss of 2.814 billion yuan in the single quarter, an increase of 116.1% over the same period last year.

Weilais loss is mainly due to huge marketing costs and R&D investment. In 2016, 2017 and the first three quarters of this year, Weilais R&D investment was 1.47 billion yuan, 2.6 billion yuan and 2.48 billion yuan, respectively. In the first three quarters of this year alone, Weilais marketing expenditure reached 2.75 billion yuan, and the rental cost of more than 10 NIO House (Weilai User Center) was high.

Some car owners who bought Weilai ES8 told reporters that although ES8 belongs to high-end models in the new energy automobile market, most of them treat the problems of ES8 with a relatively tolerant attitude. To buy Weilai more is to identify with Weilais values and regard ES8 as part of their lifestyle.

Considering the $2.452 billion raised before the listing and the $1 billion raised during the IPO, Weilai has received a huge amount of financial support of $3.452 billion. However, CICC believes that Weilai still needs to raise about 10 billion RMB annually from 2019 to 2020 to ensure that there is a part of the cash balance reserve at the end of the year, and it is not until around 2022 that the company is expected to achieve free cash flow deficit.

Therefore, unlisted Xiaopeng automobile can be reserved according to the financing scale of Weilai. Xiaopeng Automobile, which financed 4 billion B + rounds in August this year, has said that the company plans to raise up to 30 billion yuan next year. At present, the cumulative financing of Xiaopeng Automobile has exceeded 10 billion yuan, and the companys valuation is nearly 25 billion yuan.

In February, Shen Hui, founder of Weima Automobile, disclosed that Weima has raised nearly 20 billion yuan, which is only one and a half years away from its capital introduction.

Taking Tesla as a template, the new automobile-making forces will not take profit as their main goal in the early stage of their establishment. CICC expects sales of ES8, ES6 and ET7 models to be 20,000, 40,000 and 120,000 in 2020, with a net profit of - 7.38 billion yuan, of which three fees (operating expenses, management expenses and financial expenses) will be as high as 12.01 billion yuan.

Vehicles have landed, the biggest selling point of Intelligent Network Liaison Shuangyu

Unlike traditional automobile enterprises, the biggest selling point of new automobile manufacturers is the Intelligent Networking. Whether he Xiaopeng or Li Bin, in their Internet thinking, cars should be able to iterate as quickly as the operating system of the iPhone, allowing them to continue upgrading through OTA (online update).

However, since delivery began in the second half of this year, the new car-making forces have failed to achieve a real smart networking. Although these new cars have deployed radar, cameras and other hardware equipment, and on-board voice interaction equipment has been put on line, the most important auxiliary driving function of car owners, Weilai and Xiaopeng cars have not given a clear timetable.

For example, the driver fatigue detection system recommended by Xiaopeng Automobile will not be equipped with OTA upgrade until March next year. As for NIOPilot, Li Bin said that there is no definite time for the full function delivery.

In fact, the use of OTA to upgrade software for vehicles by new car makers is a reference to Teslas practice, especially the auxiliary driving function. All vehicles produced by Tesla after October 2016 are equipped with the upgrade support of enhanced auto-assisted driving function. However, car owners can only enjoy this function if they choose to pay $5,000 for the new system when buying a car. It was only in October this year that it began to push to North American users.

In Weilai ES8, NIO Pilots optional price is 39,000 yuan, while Xiaopeng G3s medium and luxury versions are equipped with automatic parking and auxiliary driving system.

Durability: Still an Inevitable Short Board

For a long time, charging piles and electric vehicles have been a pair of mutual restrictive contradictions: only when the distribution of charging piles is wide enough to attract owners to buy new energy vehicles, new energy vehicles have enough investment in charging piles to be effective, otherwise, because of the low charging frequency, it may lead to insufficient financial revenue.

This is also the embarrassment faced by the new car makers. Although power battery technology has made considerable progress in recent years, the endurance of electric vehicles has never reached the ideal state acceptable to users.

At present, Weilais latest ES6 uses Ningde NCM811 nickel cobalt manganese ternary cathode material. Upgrading to 84kWh battery specifications can ensure that NEDC (integrated endurance) reaches 510km. However, compared with American EPA endurance, the value of NEDC has been considered not close to the real situation, because in extreme environments such as winter, the endurance of the vehicle will be tested.

Xiaopeng, Weima and Weilai have chosen completely different routes for their continuity. The first two mainly emphasize the role of overcharging stations, especially Xiaopeng automobile. In addition to 100,000 third-party charging piles, Xiaopeng automobile plans to put into operation about 1,000 supercharging stations in the country in the next three years.

Weilai, on the other hand, has taken the substation + mobile charging vehicle as the main charging mode. In fast charging mode, it takes one hour for Weilai ES8 to fill 80% of its power, and 10 hours for slow charging. The mobile charging car can add 100 kilometers to ES8 in 10 minutes, while the power station calls it 3 minutes for battery replacement. This is also the base gas of Weilais claim that charging is more convenient than refueling. Weilai officials said more than 1100 power stations will be built in 2020, while more than 1200 mobile charging vehicles will be put into operation.

But for car owners, the cost of changing power stations and mobile charging is staggering, with a single charge of up to 180 yuan. To this end, Weilai has given a package price and launched a charging plan and battery rental plan. The former pays an annual fee of 10,800 yuan or 980 yuan a month, while the latter pays a monthly charge of 1,280 yuan for batteries and a reduction of 100,000 yuan for car purchases.

In fact, Tesla has also considered the mode of power change. In 2013, Musk also demonstrated the Tesla battery change technology, which can complete power change in only 90 seconds. But till now, Tesla has not launched a power change station, on the contrary, it has been increasing the investment of overcharge stations and overcharge piles worldwide.

As for the disputes between over-charging and power-changing stations, automotive analyst Zhong Shi told reporters that the two technical routes have their own advantages and disadvantages. In the long run, we need to prove which one is more suitable through practice. However, it is worth noting that repeated battery replacement of automobiles may lead to interface wear and tear, and the mode of power-changing is still controversial in the industry.

There is another question. At present, there are no relevant laws and regulations to prohibit or permit the mode of changing electricity. However, there are worries about whether Beijing Mobile Charging Vehicle can enter the 5th Ring Road.

Teslas domestication means that there is not much time to build new cars

According to data released by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the production and sales of new energy vehicles in China in the first 11 months of this year were 1054,000 and 103,000 respectively, up 63.6% and 68% year on year. Among them, the production and sales of pure electric vehicles completed 807,000 and 791,000 respectively, increasing by 50.3% and 55.7% respectively over the same period of last year. This achievement has been achieved in the context of the downturn in the traditional automobile market, which also shows that new energy vehicles are moving from the minority to the mainstream.

It is difficult to predict the impact of the decline of the new energy policy on the new forces of car-making. Although Xiaopeng and Weilai both emphasize that car owners ordered before the end of this year will continue to enjoy subsidies in 2018, it remains to be seen whether domestic sales of new energy vehicles can maintain high growth in the long run.

If the restricted and non-restricted cities are divided into different markets, the sales of new energy vehicles in restricted cities will not be hit by the decline of subsidies. The reason is that the price of license plates in many restricted cities is still higher than subsidies. It is the best policy for car owners to choose new energy vehicles.

But in non-restricted cities, sales of new energy vehicles have declined significantly. According to the Research Report of CICC, after the decline of the new energy vehicle policy in June this year, the sales of non-restricted cities in June and July fell 51.3% and 36.4% annually compared with the previous year, while the sales of restricted cities dropped only 15.9% and 16.2%.

However, Ren Wanfu, an automotive analyst, believes that sales of new energy vehicles will gradually increase as long as they are just needed for consumers in non-restricted cities. He believes that new energy subsidies are declining every year, but the purchasing power of new energy vehicles in non-restricted cities is still releasing.

In addition to subsidies, another threat facing the new car makers is the localization of Tesla. Besides price advantages, brand, technology and infrastructure construction are difficult to compete with Tesla.

The latest news shows that Teslas super factory in Shanghai is expected to be put into operation in the second half of next year, when the price of domestic Tesla will be substantially lower. The owner who ordered Model? 3 told reporters that he had decided to wait until the model? 3 was domesticated due to tariff problems, which led to the high price of Model? 3.

Some insiders told reporters that although the previous official news said that Tesla Shanghai Super Factory was built in 2020, it was not excluded that Tesla initially realized localization with CKD or SKD. Cui Dongshu, a member of the National Passenger Car Market Information Association, told reporters earlier that the price of Tesla is expected to fall by more than 40% after localization.

In addition, thanks to the effect of tariff adjustment on imported vehicles, Tesla launched a new round of price reduction on December 14 and 17 for the Chinese market, in which the starting price of Model? 3 long-endurance full-wheel drive version dropped to 499,000 yuan, which had a certain impact on the arrival of vehicles, while Xiaopeng and Weimas current models are mainly in the low and medium-end market, and to some extent, Tesla is not an opponent, but they are the same. Facing the price competition of BYD, Guangzhou Automobile, Beiqi and other traditional automobile enterprises.

New Beijing News reporter? Lu Yifu

Source: New Beijing Daily Responsible Editor: Yao Liwei_NT6056