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Power Businesses China The Almighty Buck Transportation

China's Ambitions To Power the World's Electric Cars Took a Huge Leap Forward This Week (reuters.com) 93

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Future Mobility Corporation (FMC), the Chinese parent company behind electric car start-up Byton, has placed an order for a paint shop capable of handling 150,000 cars per year, German supplier Duerr said on Wednesday. China's Byton, a newcomer headed by the former head of BMW's i8 program, has already released plans for a premium electric SUV vehicle, the latest in a series of China-backed electric autonomous prototypes. Byton has financial backing from Chinese state-owned carmaker FAW Group and the country's dominant battery producer Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL) This is just one of the stories this week relating to China and the electric car industry. MIT Technology Review adds: In a public offering on June 11 in Shenzhen, battery giant Contemporary Amperex Technology Ltd. (CATL) raised nearly $1 billion to fund ambitious expansion plans, and its stock has been shooting up every day since. Thanks largely to the company's new plants, China will be making 70 percent of the world's electric-vehicle batteries by 2021, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

Just seven years later, CATL has built up the biggest lithium-ion manufacturing facilities in the world, according to BNEF. The company can crank out around 17 gigawatt-hours of lithium-ion cells annually, placing it just ahead of Korea's LG Chem, the Tesla and Panasonic partnership, and China's electric-vehicle giant BYD. Flush with capital from its offering, CATL plans to build two new plants and expand existing facilities, pushing its capacity to nearly 90 gigawatt-hours by 2020. [...] Notably, it's the only Chinese battery company so far to line up deals to supply foreign automakers, including BMW, Honda, Nissan, Toyota, and Volkswagen.

China's Ambitions To Power the World's Electric Cars Took a Huge Leap Forward This Week

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  • I wonder how FMC [fmc.com] feels about a Chinese company using its name.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Do not equate to huge leap forward.

    Also - it might not be wise to use huge leap forward when talking about China. Just sayin'

  • Leaping Forward (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jodka ( 520060 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @08:47PM (#56780952)

    China's Ambitions To Power the World's Electric Cars Took a Huge Leap Forward This Week

    Not to be confused with the Great Leap Forward [wikipedia.org]:

    It is widely regarded by historians that The Great Leap resulted in tens of millions of deaths. A lower-end estimate is 18 million, while extensive research by Yu Xiguang suggests the death toll from the movement is closer to 55.6 million. Historian Frank Dikötter asserts that "coercion, terror, and systematic violence were the foundation of the Great Leap Forward" and it "motivated one of the most deadly mass killings of human history".

    Odd that an editor would put "leap forward" in the title of an article about China. Was he trying to be funny?

    • Could be that - seeing as how they are the world leaders in high-speed rail, advanced manufacturing, etc. - that they have learned how to "leap forward" in a different way that, while no less threatening to us as a country, does not seem to elicit the same knee-jerk reaction. Hence, we'll lose, cause we're dumb as shit, exemplified by goobers like you who rely on slogans as a substitute for thinking.
      • China is the leader in stealing high-speed rail technology and providing cheap labor for the advanced manufacturing of Taiwanese and Japanese factories - they excel at exploiting and murdering their own people and theft of IP from other countries. *I have been in China roughly half of the time for the last 20yrs - don't believe their propaganda.
    • by ncc74656 ( 45571 ) *

      Odd that an editor would put "leap forward" in the title of an article about China. Was he trying to be funny?

      It's more likely he's just ignorant of history, especially if he's a more recent product of our indoc^H^H^H^H^H"education" system.

    • China's Ambitions To Power the World's Electric Cars Took a Huge Leap Forward This Week

      Not to be confused with the Great Leap Forward [wikipedia.org]:

      It is widely regarded by historians that The Great Leap resulted in tens of millions of deaths. A lower-end estimate is 18 million, while extensive research by Yu Xiguang suggests the death toll from the movement is closer to 55.6 million. Historian Frank Dikötter asserts that "coercion, terror, and systematic violence were the foundation of the Great Leap Forward" and it "motivated one of the most deadly mass killings of human history".

      Odd that an editor would put "leap forward" in the title of an article about China. Was he trying to be funny?

      Just youngsters who don't know.

      They probably think you're some evil right winger for even mentioning communism in a negative way ...

  • I have the EGO series of home yard tools...I think they are superior to whatever is here in the West. They are just not so boastful about it.
  • by Freedom Bug ( 86180 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @09:57PM (#56781194) Homepage

    Pretty much every incumbent car manufacturer plans on building their car plants in China. BMW is more prominently in the news for that but others are too. They'd be silly not to. That's where the incentives and the batteries are. And increasingly, that's where the knowledge is.

    • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @11:36PM (#56781508) Journal

      About the time I was born, Schwinn was THE brand of bicycles in the US. Every kid wanted a Schwinn. Part of that was marketing, part of it was their production expertise. Schwinn had a lot of "tricks of the trade" to make great bikes.

      To cut costs, Schwinn made a deal with a company I Taiwan to actually manufacture the bikes. They sent their experts to Taiwan to teach the workers there how to do it. After the Taiwanese company started using those techniques to build and sell non-Schwinn bikes, Schwinn switched to a new, small company in China. Again their entire their experts to Asia to teach the workers there all the tricks and techniques.

      The little Chinese company is now the world's largest manufacturer of bikes. Schwinn declared bankruptcy in 1992, and by the time I was 7 years old the bike to have was Diamondback - one of several brands produced and sold by the company in Taiwan.

      Schwinn had taught the Asian manufacturers how to put Schwinn out of business.

      American companies are still doing that. Apple has been very, very good to Foxconn, for example. Foxconn no longer needs Apple, or soon won't. They are now selling direct, using everything they learned from building Apple's products, and can cut Apple off any time they decide it's advantageous to do so.

      • It is worse than that.

        The Chinese will soon be *better* at making bicycles than the west, simply because they do it. Same with robots, there will soon be far more in China than in the USA, and thus far more expertise. If you want to found a startup building smarter robots, you want to be where the robots are.

        Eventually, the Chinese will send their experts to the USA to teach manufacturing.

        The rational economists miss this bit.

        • by raymorris ( 2726007 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @01:38AM (#56781734) Journal

          > The Chinese will soon be *better* at making bicycles than the west, simply because they do it. Same with robots, there will soon be far more in China than in the USA, and thus far more expertise.

          Experience is one thing. Another parameter is that US culture is very unusual in a particular way, or really two related things. Co-workers from other countries have told me it's a bit hard to get used to working in the US because of this cultural difference.

          In most cultures, including China, when someone shows up to work the company does things a certain way, and it's very often the Chinese way, the way other companies do it. The employee does their part, according to company procedures. That's good for manufacturing a million identical copies. The US is weird in that we tend, much more than other countries, to do things our own way. The employer wants certain results, of course, but each employee may do things a little differently, perhaps using different tools. Rather than doing everything the traditional way, Americans are looking for that "one weird trick" that makes it better, faster, or cheaper. The employee who comes up with a nifty trick to do it better is called clever, inventive, and praised for their ingenuity. In most cultures that behavior would be odd, inconsistent, and potentially dangerous.

          My own workplace is an example - everyone on my team chooses different tools. Even where we have to share a common standard, Git, some of my co-workers use various diff GUIs to work with Git, while I use the command line. The codebase is a mix of programming languages and styles. Heck, some co-workers shine their shoes, some don't wear shoes. An office in China would look, and be, much more consistent, everyone working together, doing it the same way.

          China is very good at making a million identical widgets, America invents like no culture before. They compliment each other - the Americans try all kinds of wacky new ideas and when they get a good one, they contract with the Chinese to make a million of them, precisely to specification.

          Obviously each culture is different in many ways, with different attitudes and norms having different benefits and drawbacks.

          IF we remember where our strength is, the US can continue to be a major and very important part of that synergy. If we lose our individualistic and inventive spirit, well then our workers will be like workers everywhere else, and be competing on wages - and in wages worldwide, only the top 1% make over $25,000 / year or so.

          • by GerryGilmore ( 663905 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @02:18AM (#56781796)
            While I don't disagree with your analysis, let me differ...
            Fundamentally, there is a nexus between design, engineering and production. A three-legged stool, if you will.
            I would submit that a national economy cannot long subsist on one (or even two) legs of that stool, and we have arbitraged at least 2 of of those legs to an economy that - while efficient - is, at heart, a Communist Dictatorship and we in the west ignore what we have wrought to our peril.
        • better is not part of chinese education. they cant do it.
      • by GerryGilmore ( 663905 ) on Thursday June 14, 2018 @01:41AM (#56781736)
        Same way that all of the "domestic" brands like IBM and HP became supplanted by Lenovo and Acer/...
        As a capitalist, modern capitalism not only sucks, it's stupid.
      • Manufacturing a bike doesn't require much more than building it. The design of bikes doesn't change that much anymore.

        Manufacturing an iPhone, however...
      • by shilly ( 142940 )

        Foxconn has been trying to break into retail sales since at least 2010. I'm not sure Apple is quaking in its boots about this threat just yet. There may be a little more to the business model than knowing how to assemble components.

        • Foxconn has been trying to break into retail sales since at least 2010. I'm not sure Apple is quaking in its boots about this threat just yet. There may be a little more to the business model than knowing how to assemble components.

          I won't even buy a Foxconn PC motherboard because they're poop, even though Foxconn makes plenty of other brands' motherboards. They are literally generations away from being a threat to Apple, and I don't mean generations of PC hardware.

  • good (Score:4, Insightful)

    by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Wednesday June 13, 2018 @11:21PM (#56781468) Journal
    The more people working on electric cars, the better. I want a 15,000 dollar electric car with a range of 400 miles. That will happen eventually, but the more people researching it, the sooner it will happen.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      If you know how to wrench, used ICEs can be great.

      I bought a 1983 Mercedes 300D for $4000 in great condition (someone repainted it and re-did the interior years ago). It's range exceeds 400 miles, and considering your $15k purchase price, I was left with $11k. Assuming $4/gallon and 25 mpg, $11k buys ~70k miles in fuel .

      Downsides? Oil change every ~3k miles, which costs about $40. Fuel and air filters are trivial ($2 - $8). It's slow, and currently leaks oil (and diesel oil is diiiiiiirty). Some stuff will

  • The company can crank out around 17 gigawatt-hours of lithium-ion cells annually, placing it just ahead of Korea's LG Chem, the Tesla and Panasonic partnership, and China's electric-vehicle giant BYD.

    It seems to me the numbers/ranking could be off, the tesla gigafactory targets 35 Gwh annually, but I can't find current production numbers. https://electrek.co/2018/01/03... [electrek.co]

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun

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