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Plastics suppliers gear up for China's electric vehicle market

 |  Subj: Media reviews

<img src="https://plastinfo.ru/content/imgupload/news_072017/fd2cd72d-2453-4445-8a9b-2866030d940c.jpg" width="400" height="266" style="border:0px #000000;width:400px;height:266px;margin-right:10px;margin-bottom:10px;float:left" title="Photo PNChina"><p>Chinas transformation in&nbsp;the&nbsp;last two years into&nbsp;the&nbsp;worlds largest market for&nbsp;electric vehicles has the&nbsp;plastics supply chain gearing up.</p> <p>While&nbsp;electric vehicles are a&nbsp;small&nbsp;market today, sales are growing quickly, and&nbsp;Chinas outsized presence&nbsp; it accounted for&nbsp;40&nbsp;percent of&nbsp;the&nbsp;750,000&nbsp;electric cars sold worldwide last year&nbsp; has plastics companies focused.</p> <p>That&nbsp;was apparent in&nbsp;interviews at&nbsp;the&nbsp;Chinaplas trade show in&nbsp;mid-May in&nbsp;Guangzhou.</p> <p>EV&nbsp;is growing very fast, driven by&nbsp;regulatory support and&nbsp;rebates for&nbsp;buying EV&nbsp;or&nbsp;hybrids, said Luke Du, managing director Asia and&nbsp;executive vice president of&nbsp;Solvay Specialty Polymers.<br> Gero Willmeroth, president of&nbsp;sales and&nbsp;service at&nbsp;Engel&nbsp;Machinery (Shanghai), said the&nbsp;rapid development of&nbsp;the&nbsp;market means the&nbsp;Austrian injection machine maker needs to&nbsp;be closely involved.</p> <p>A&nbsp;lot of&nbsp;companies are coming out&nbsp;starting production of&nbsp;what they have never done before, so&nbsp;you need to&nbsp;be there right on&nbsp;the&nbsp;spot when the&nbsp;need arises, he said at&nbsp;a&nbsp;Chinaplas news conference.</p> <p>He cited the&nbsp;EV&nbsp;market as&nbsp;one reason Engel&nbsp;introduced a&nbsp;more end-market oriented sales structure to&nbsp;Asia this year, as&nbsp;it had earlier done in&nbsp;Europe and&nbsp;North America.</p> <p>French auto component manufacturer Plastic Omnium&nbsp;SA also cited the&nbsp;EV&nbsp;market as&nbsp;a&nbsp;factor in&nbsp;its plans to&nbsp;double its China sales to&nbsp;1.3&nbsp;billion euros ($1.45&nbsp;billion) by&nbsp;2021.</p> <p>The&nbsp;company said in&nbsp;April&nbsp;it signed an&nbsp;order with&nbsp;Chinese carmaker NextEV&nbsp;to&nbsp;supply all&nbsp;of&nbsp;its electric vehicle body parts, and&nbsp;announced that&nbsp;production of&nbsp;the&nbsp;first high pressure tank for&nbsp;rechargeable hybrid vehicles is scheduled to&nbsp;start at&nbsp;the&nbsp;end of&nbsp;the&nbsp;year.</p> <p>Last year, NextEV, which now calls itself Nio, signed an&nbsp;agreement with&nbsp;the&nbsp;city of&nbsp;Nanjing, in&nbsp;Jiangsu province, to&nbsp;build a&nbsp;$465&nbsp;million factory with&nbsp;production capacity of&nbsp;280,000&nbsp;cars.<br> Other companies are looking to&nbsp;build in&nbsp;Jiangsu as&nbsp;well.</p> <p>South Korean manufacturer LG plans to&nbsp;expand its electric vehicle battery factory in&nbsp;Nanjing later this year, where it makes batteries for&nbsp;50,000&nbsp;electric cars and&nbsp;180,000&nbsp;plugin-hybrids a&nbsp;year.<br> Chinese firm&nbsp;Beijing CHJ Automotive Technology plans a&nbsp;second production facility in&nbsp;the&nbsp;nearby city of&nbsp;Changzhou, a&nbsp;$436.7&nbsp;million plant to&nbsp;make 100,000&nbsp;electric and&nbsp;plug in&nbsp;SUVs a&nbsp;year.<br> The&nbsp;Chinese government is hoping that&nbsp;by&nbsp;2020, 2&nbsp;million electric cars will&nbsp;be sold annually in&nbsp;the&nbsp;country.</p> <p>A&nbsp;June report from&nbsp;the&nbsp;International&nbsp;Energy Agency said that&nbsp;Chinas electric car market in&nbsp;2016&nbsp;was more than twice the&nbsp;size of&nbsp;the&nbsp;second-largest market, the&nbsp;United States. China surpassed the&nbsp;U.&nbsp;S. as&nbsp;the&nbsp;biggest in&nbsp;2015.</p> <p>IEA said if&nbsp;you add in&nbsp;other types of&nbsp;vehicles, like electric buses and&nbsp;two-wheelers, China is by&nbsp;far the&nbsp;global&nbsp;leader in&nbsp;the&nbsp;electrification of&nbsp;other transport modes.</p> <p>Brussels-based Solvay said government support has played a&nbsp;crucial&nbsp;role in&nbsp;China, although that&nbsp;is now changing in&nbsp;a&nbsp;way that&nbsp;helps Solvay, Du said.</p> <p>Now the&nbsp;government looks at&nbsp;what kind of&nbsp;subsidies that&nbsp;they will&nbsp;put together and&nbsp;new regulations come out&nbsp;that&nbsp;would peg or&nbsp;tie a&nbsp;subsidy to&nbsp;the&nbsp;performance of&nbsp;the&nbsp;battery, so&nbsp;it will&nbsp;encourage high performance, high energy-density batteries, Du said. "This also brings advantage to&nbsp;our battery.</p> <p>Depending on&nbsp;the&nbsp;policy, [EV] is either&nbsp;a&nbsp;must-have a&nbsp;or&nbsp;a&nbsp;luxury, he said. In&nbsp;China, it is a&nbsp;must. The&nbsp;regulations and&nbsp;policies put in&nbsp;place are to&nbsp;encourage growth.</p> <p>Solvay said its looking at&nbsp;the&nbsp;whole infrastructure of&nbsp;materials needed to&nbsp;support the&nbsp;EV&nbsp;market. Zhou Qiang, specialty polymers general&nbsp;manager, said the&nbsp;company will&nbsp;finish a&nbsp;plant in&nbsp;Changshu later this year for&nbsp;making binder and&nbsp;coating material&nbsp;for&nbsp;lithium&nbsp;ion batteries.</p> <p>It will&nbsp;be significant and&nbsp;it will&nbsp;help our global&nbsp;supply, Zhou said.</p> <p>Chinas overall&nbsp;vehicle market topped 28&nbsp;million last year. A&nbsp;China Daily report said that&nbsp;if&nbsp;you add in&nbsp;other types of&nbsp;new energy vehicles, such&nbsp;as&nbsp;plug-in&nbsp;hybrids, China sold over&nbsp;500,000&nbsp;such&nbsp;vehicles in&nbsp;2016, and&nbsp;projects to&nbsp;exceed 700,000&nbsp;this year.</p> <p>The&nbsp;IEA report estimates that&nbsp;worldwide the&nbsp;total&nbsp;number of&nbsp;electric vehicles in&nbsp;use will&nbsp;rise from&nbsp;2&nbsp;million today, to&nbsp;between&nbsp;40&nbsp;million and&nbsp;70&nbsp;million by&nbsp;2025.</p> <p>It is still&nbsp;a&nbsp;small&nbsp;market, said Du, but&nbsp;noted the&nbsp;outlook is prompting a&nbsp;lot of&nbsp;interest. The&nbsp;upside is huge.</p>

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