Research on charging infrastructure: three modes of self-built and self-operated OEM charging piles

Zosi Automotive Research recently released the “2021 Electric Vehicle Charging Station and Charging Pile Market Research Report”.

The number of charging piles in the world is increasing rapidly, and the high-power fast charging network leads the growth

By the end of 2020, more than 11 million electric vehicles were on the road worldwide. Although the global auto industry has experienced a sharp recession under the influence of the epidemic, the number of global electric vehicle registrations in 2020 still increased by 41%. According to IEA (International Energy Agency) data, it is expected that global electric vehicle sales will reach 15-20 million in 2025.

Global electric vehicle sales forecast

Research on charging infrastructure: three modes of self-built and self-operated OEM charging piles

Source: IEA

In this context, governments of various countries have accelerated the planning and construction of charging infrastructure. According to IEA data, the number of electric vehicle charging facilities worldwide in 2020 is 9.5 million, of which 2.5 million are public charging facilities. A conservative estimate is that by 2025, the number of electric vehicle charging facilities worldwide will increase to around 50 million, including about 10 million public charging facilities.

Global charging infrastructure development expectations


Source: IEA

At present, the number of charging piles in my country ranks first in the world. As of the end of 2020, the number of new energy vehicles in my country has reached 4.92 million, and the total number of charging piles is about 1.681 million, including 874,700 private charging piles and 806,000 commercial charging piles (including public and dedicated). 0.34:1.

It is estimated that by 2025, the number of new energy vehicles in my country will reach 17.82 million, and the total number of charging piles will be about 9.391 million, including 6.183 million private charging piles and 3.208 million commercial charging piles (including public and dedicated ones). Car ratio 0.53:1.

Prediction of the number of charging infrastructure in my country (unit: 10,000)


Source: Zosi Automotive Research

At present, China’s expressway fast charging network has basically taken shape, ranking first in the world. As of 2020, a total of 2,251 charging stations and 9,065 charging piles have been built on 42 expressways, with a service mileage of 54,000 kilometers, accounting for 35% of the national expressway mileage. Judging from the summary of bidding information for high-speed charging equipment of the State Grid over the years, the high-speed charging piles are mainly 80-160KW, and the laying of 240/480KW super-power super-charging piles has been carried out.

Quantity and power distribution of State Grid high-speed charging equipment tenders from 2014 to 2021


Source: State Grid Tendering, Zosi Automobile Research Institute analysis and analysis

Mid-to-high-end smart electric vehicle brands vigorously deploy charging network construction

The added value of smart electric vehicle brands has increased significantly, bringing about consumption upgrades in the automotive industry. In addition to the intelligence and quality of the vehicle itself, the improvement of consumers’ charging quality is also crucial. Zosi Automobile Research once wrote an article in August 2018, “Can the battery swap model that NIO and BAIC New Energy bet on subvert the industrial ecology?” It clearly stated that NIO builds a closed business scenario through the battery swap model, which greatly improves the It is a very clever business strategy to improve the brand value and service level of NIO.

Many OEMs have also realized the importance of closed (or semi-closed) charging networks, including mid-to-high-end start-up brands such as Tesla, NIO, Xiaopeng, and Ideal, as well as pure electric high-end brands of traditional OEMs, such as Geely Extreme Krypton, GAC Aian, BAIC ARCFOX Extreme Fox, SAIC R Auto, Volkswagen ID, etc., have also started or planned to deploy on supercharging stations.

Layout of self-built and self-operated charging networks by Chinese OEMs

Source: Zosi Automotive Research

Our analysis believes that at present, OEMs mainly adopt three charging network construction and operation modes:

 01 Mode 1: Completely self-built and self-operated “closed overcharge” system

This model is very expensive and requires a very high market presence to maintain operations, represented by Tesla. In China, Tesla has laid a large number of charging piles. Although it has been switched to the national standard interface, in fact, Tesla’s charging network is almost closed to the outside world, and it is still a very closed charging network. Although Tesla has always claimed that it can open supercharged piles to its peers, we believe that the possibility of opening up in the short term is very small.

Tesla has built more than 800 super charging stations and 6,300 super charging piles in China, with more than 710 destination charging stations, and the charging network covers more than 290 cities. In 2021, Tesla will put into operation a super charging pile factory in Shanghai, with an initial planned annual production capacity of up to 10,000, mainly V3 super charging piles.

With the widespread deployment of Tesla’s closed charging network, Tesla has actually formed a strong consumer barrier in China. Even if Tesla faces many doubts in the short term, Tesla will still occupy an important position in China in the long run. status, and its closed charging network has become one of the key elements of business success.

Tesla’s charging infrastructure distribution in China

Source: Tesla

 02 Mode 2: Completely self-built and self-operated “closed battery swap + open supercharge” system

In addition to supercharging stations, swapping stations are also the main way of charging layout of OEMs. NIO regards battery swapping as one of its core business models. Weilai introduced the vehicle-electricity separation mode, and took the lead in establishing Wuhan Weineng Battery Assets Co., Ltd., responsible for the management and operation of batteries.

In April 2021, NIO cooperated with State Grid and began to deploy the second-generation power exchange station across the country. The new power exchange power station technology can support the function of one-key power exchange in the car without users getting out of the car; it can provide up to 312 batteries per day. The second battery replacement service can effectively improve the battery replacement efficiency.

As of June 2021, NIO has deployed 249 swap stations, 177 overcharge stations, and 1,408 overcharge piles across the country. NIO has cooperated with State Grid to launch the second-generation power exchange station, and plans to achieve a nationwide deployment of 500 power exchange stations by the end of 2021. With the gradual improvement of NIO’s car charging and swapping network, we predict that NIO may appropriately explore the brand pricing range and further seize the market in the range of 250,000 to 350,000.

The power-up scene of NIO


Source: NIO

 03 Mode 3: Cooperatively operated “open supercharge” system + part of self-built and self-operated “closed supercharge” system

Different from the relatively closed charging network construction and operation mode of NIO and Tesla, Xiaopeng mainly cooperates with third-party operators such as Teel to build a free supercharging network, which greatly reduces network laying and operating costs.

At the same time, Xiaopeng also started the construction of its own brand exclusive charging station similar to Tesla and Weilai, and further upgraded the charging brand service. By the end of 2021, more than 500 supercharging stations under the Xpeng Motors brand will be planned. We expect that the price of the next pure electric SUV released by Xiaopeng will be further explored.

Xpeng Motors own brand exclusive charging station


Source: Xiaopeng Motors

Up to now, the overall charging network layout of Xiaopeng Motors has reached 164 cities, 1,140 free charging stations, and 19,019 free charging piles (some of which are self-built by Xiaopeng). It is expected to cover more than 200 major cities nationwide by the end of 2021. Since September 2020, Xiaopeng Motors launched the “Lifetime Free Charging Plan (annual limit of 3000 degrees)”, and sales growth has been strong.

Xpeng Motors monthly insurance volume data


Source: Zoth Database

In addition, Volkswagen (China), FAW, Jianghuai Automobile, and Wanbang New Energy jointly established the charging operator “CAMS”. Similar to the model of Xiaopeng Motors, it also adopted an open + partially closed (ground lock) phase. combined operating model.

For other OEMs, we believe that “Mode 3” is likely to be adopted, but each manufacturer may have slightly different strategies and layout ideas. For example, the newly released Geely Krypton 001 is the first 800V platform model in China and will be equipped with the industry’s current The 360kW pole charging pile with the fastest charging efficiency can be charged for 5 minutes at the fastest and has a range of 120 kilometers. According to the plan, in 2021, Jikr will complete the construction of 290 charging stations and 2,800 charging piles; it is planned that by the end of 2023, the cumulative number of charging stations will reach 2,200, and the cumulative number of charging piles will reach 20,000. So far, the “extreme charging network” of Jikr Automobile has not been officially unveiled.

In the future, with the promotion of 800V high-voltage fast charging architecture technology, whether it is a foreign-funded enterprise or an independent brand, it will gradually form a trend to do product layout on a high-voltage platform in the future, and high-end smart electric brands will build their own charging network.

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