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电动车

LEX - Electric vehicles: tailpipe dreams
Lex专栏:中国的电动车之梦

中国的污染问题意味着它有强大动力发展电动推进技术。中国还把电气化视为国内汽车产业追赶西方的一个契机。

China learns techniques from the west but adapts them for the local culture. So it is with electric vehicles. Over the weekend, an industry vice-minister has said a European-style timeline to stop “sales of traditional fuel cars” will also be implemented in China. He predicted “turbulent times” as a result. He is right — there will be a scramble for scale.

中国学习西方的方法,但使其适应国情。电动车领域也不例外。工信部的一名副部长在周末表示,中国也将实施欧洲那种停止“生产销售传统能源汽车”的时间表。他预测,这将给汽车产业带来变革“剧烈的”时期。他说得对——将会有一场竞相扩大规模的角逐。

The country’s pollution problems mean it has every incentive to push electric propulsion. It also sees electrification as an opportunity for its domestic auto industry to catch up with established western carmakers. It is already the largest EV market in the world with 1.2 per cent of car sales last year, according to UBS.

中国的污染问题意味着它有强大动力推动电动推进技术。中国还把电气化视为国内汽车产业追赶西方汽车制造商的一个契机。据瑞银(UBS)统计,它已经是世界最大的电动汽车市场,去年电动汽车销量占到汽车总销量的1.2%。

China’s problem with EV economics is the same as everyone else’s. Bernstein estimates that a mid-size combustion vehicle costs $15k to produce compared with $24k for a comparable EV. The differential is down to the battery, which accounts for half of an EV’s cost. A combustion engine is just 15 per cent of a traditional car.

就电动车经济性而言,中国面临的问题与其他国家一样。伯恩斯坦(Bernstein)估计,一辆中型内燃发动机汽车的生产成本为1.5万美元,而一辆可比电动汽车的生产成本达到2.4万美元。这一差异的关键在于电池,其占电动汽车成本的一半。内燃发动机仅占传统汽车成本的15%。

State subsidies helped make EVs affordable for consumers while helping manufacturers with the higher build costs. But the subsidy system is being overhauled to focus more on quotas and credits, in effect pushing more of the cost on to the industry. Carmakers have increasingly had to choose between maintaining pricing at the expense of volumes, or sacrificing margins to preserve market share.

国家补贴有助于让消费者买得起电动汽车,同时也帮助生产成本较高的制造商。但是这个补贴制度正在进行改革,转向把重点放在配额和积分上,实际上是把更大一部分成本推给行业。制造商日益面临一个选择:要么为了保持定价而牺牲销量,要么为了保持市场份额而牺牲利润率。

Meanwhile, western producers, for whom China has been a very lucrative market, have been reluctant to push battery and hybrid cars. They fear losing valuable intellectual property to their joint-venture partners. The threat of a full-on ban might yet force their hands. They do at least have the scale to finance the necessary investment.

与此同时,西方厂商(中国对它们而言一直是一个非常有利可图的市场)一直不愿推进电池和混合动力汽车。他们害怕宝贵的知识产权落到合资伙伴手里。硬性禁令的威胁可能会迫使他们付诸行动。他们至少有足够大的规模来做出必要的投资。

China’s automakers are not yet big enough to make electric cars profitably. Note that Great Wall, the carmaker that recently pronounced its interest in buying Fiat Chrysler, had to row back quickly for lack of resources. In this context, Monday’s 6 per cent pop in the shares of battery maker BYD looks premature. However, there is logic in imagining that technological advantage will in time beget scale.

中国汽车制造商的规模还不够大,无法在盈利状态下制造电动汽车。值得指出的是,最近宣布有意收购菲亚特克莱斯勒(Fiat Chrysler)的汽车制造商长城(Great Wall)因缺乏资源而迅速收手。就此而言,电池制造商比亚迪(BYD)股价周一6%的上涨似乎过早。不过,随着时间推移,技术优势最终将带来规模——这种想象终究是有一些逻辑的。

Lex专栏是由FT评论员联合撰写的短评,对全球经济与商业进行精辟分析

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