Turning 2,000 EV battery packs a day into gasoline-free painless pleasure | Cui Likhen

The electric automobile market in China is booming. Last year, 1.6m Chinese customers purchased a new electric car, or nearly 30% of total global sales.

The market is expanding at an astounding rate – for the second consecutive year – helping to level the playing field between China and the rest of the world.

As an electric vehicle manufacturer, we are deeply appreciative of the government’s policies to foster electric vehicle production and consumption.

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Based on these policies, we have had unprecedented success in China. In 2017, we were selling enough vehicles to supply our entire global demand. And in the first quarter of this year, we sold just under 110,000 electric vehicles, more than three times the sales total for the same period in 2018.

We understand the importance of charging infrastructure in China, which is still relatively low, even if it is rapidly growing. Over the past two years, we have developed a variety of benefits that make purchasing our cars very appealing to Chinese consumers.

This includes our new 500 kWh options, which offer significantly more battery capacity than other electric vehicle manufacturers. This allows customers the freedom to choose the car they want and to customize the experience throughout their entire ownership. It also allows us to charge the vehicles at times that are convenient for them. Our car in China has 10 different charging options: charging overnight in an office parking lot, overnight in public parking lots or during a time when there is no peak electricity, such as during an evening rush hour.

We also announced new partnerships with Chinese automakers such as BAIC, Changan and Geely. By partnering with these manufacturers, we are able to bring a wider range of cars to market more quickly and at lower prices.

And our model is also being incorporated in cars for international markets. In the first quarter of this year, we started selling the second generation electric sport utility vehicle (SUV) in Europe. By the end of 2018, we will produce some 4,000 models at our Guangzhou plant.

These efforts are highly encouraged by recent trade talks between the US and China. We hope to make progress on shared market access and emissions reduction as soon as possible.

The market for electric vehicles in China is also stimulating the development of new, industry-leading technology and new business models. We are researching new consumer-driven services such as self-driving cars, voice-controlled AI, hyperloop and more.

Importantly, we have opened up our plant in Ordos to allow us to participate in new research and development, transportation networks and mobility technologies. We are also looking to invest in research and development programs for buses in China.

Companies such as NextEV have built successful businesses using our platform in China, and we are launching similar businesses in Europe, North America and throughout the world. We are excited about the opportunity to expand our business around the world and open up new growth channels for our future work.

Whether European carmakers wish to be or are willing to be, the electric vehicle trend is clearly here to stay. And the rising awareness of EVs around the world is leading to faster improvements in battery technology and more rapid production volume.

There are positive signs that the European Union is on the right track, with the European commission implementing stricter emission targets, open electric vehicle testing and renaming them “electric mobility.” And as the global retail segment for electric vehicles grows, we look forward to working with all players in the industry to offer a better and more efficient customer experience.

• Cui Likhen is the founder and CEO of NextEV.

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