China is reportedly urging the country’s battery makers to redouble their efforts to keep pace with demand for products, driven by the “rapidly growing” domestic new energy vehicles industry.
According to China’s Sina Finance, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) has warned the battery sector “is currently finding it difficult to keep up with demand” from new energy vehicle manufacturers.
MIIT is now reportedly urging closer cooperation between the battery industry and the makers of domestic new energy vehicles.
Sina Finance quoted the deputy director of MIIT’s machinery industry department, Guochun Qu (pictured), as expressing “disappointment” that manufacturers of batteries and new energy vehicles in China appeared to be working “out of step”.
Qu reportedly told a domestic trade conference that automotive batteries are “the heart of electric vehicles and the key to development of the new energy auto industry”. After years of trying, China’s automotive battery business is “growing rapidly, but still finding it difficult to keep up with demand”, he said.
According to Sina Finance, Qu said there appeared to be “deficiencies” in areas such as equipment manufacturing skills. He said MIIT had made four recommendations to ensure the further development of the domestic automotive battery industry.
MIIT’s recommendations include setting up “collaborative projects” between companies in the battery manufacturing sector, such as a “technology open sharing platform” and the establishment of a “battery innovation centre”.
MIIT is also encouraging the setting up of an “industrial association” bringing together battery manufacturers, materials suppliers and facility installation firms.
In addition, MIIT is calling for the completion of a system that sets standards and evaluation procedures for battery production, while also working to improve product quality and establishing benchmarks for quality control and safety in terms of the manufacturing process.
In a related move, China is reportedly set to relax rules governing foreign ownership of shares in domestic firms involved in the production of automotive electronics and batteries for electric vehicles.
Sina Finance said Ministry of Commerce spokesman Jiwen Sun told a press conference if the proposed policy change goes ahead, it could be “another important mechanism for intensifying battery market competition within China”, following the Government’s gradual reduction of subsidies for electric vehicle manufacturers.