Jiang Jiuchun: Electric vehicles will become an important part of the power grid

Prof. Jiang Jiuchun, Ph.D. supervisor, executive director of the Electric Vehicles Subcommittee of the China Automotive Engineering Society; developed a battery management system, made groundbreaking work in the application of power battery groups, occupied more than 50% of the domestic market, and designed Beijing. In the domestic large-scale charging stations such as the Olympics, Shanghai World Expo, and Asian Games charging stations, 16 out of 25 cities in the “Ten Cities” adopted this technology. He won the second prize of National Science and Technology Progress Award once. Research directions include electric vehicle charging stations, electric vehicle battery management systems, and micro-grid technologies.

"The government should consider gradually reducing the electric vehicle subsidies"

China Electric Power News: Recently the government introduced a series of policies. What role do you think will play in the development of electric vehicles?

Jiang Jiuchun: The recent policy has solved a lot of problems, including charging problems and the construction of charging facilities. Many problems in the development of the industry are basically solved.

In the next step, I think we need to consider increasing the use value of the car. For example, Beijing should consider the problem of open-ended operations.

In addition, many problems have also been found in the subsidy policy, including acts such as manufacturer fraud. I think it is now necessary to seriously consider the issue of subsidy cuts, because the industry depends on subsidies there is no future development. The government should guide the model. Some models may not develop at all. The subsidy can be cut off. The subsidies now compensate some companies for lack of R&D. The models produced are not suitable for the market. The government should conduct a clear survey of different market segments and then give specific subsidy policies instead of a one-size-fits-all approach, which is detrimental to the development of the electric vehicle industry.

China Electric Power News: What do you think is the biggest obstacle to the development of electric vehicles?

Jiang Jiuchun: In the past, we often talked about two obstacles. One was the battery barrier and the other was the infrastructure barrier.

Technological advances and price declines in batteries will not be an obstacle in the future. With the development of electric vehicles, it is possible to deploy infrastructure in a modest manner.

The biggest obstacle now is the automobile factory, how to design a safe, reliable vehicle that can meet the real needs of the people. Then is how to establish a reasonable business operation model. Paris, France is a time-sharing model that has been profitable. The “micro bus” in domestic Hangzhou is also a good exploration, and I think it is very likely to be successful. This has a positive effect on the electric vehicle industry.

China Electric Power: What do you think the government should do to overcome obstacles?

Jiang Jiuchun: I think the government should focus on formulating standards and not interfere too much with the company's production and business activities. The original local protection is more serious and it is not very obvious now. Acts like the Beijing government are actually not local protection but consumer protection. Because many vehicle manufacturers claim that they can run 150 kilometers on one charge, they can't actually do it. Therefore, Beijing is equipped with a threshold to protect the market through testing.

In addition, from the promotion point of view, our standards have been enough, even more than Europe and the United States. However, we should carefully sort out these standards and consider the implementation issues. Although we have set many standards, the standards are not detailed enough, and it is difficult for manufacturers to implement them.

China Electric Power News: What do you think about our plans for 500,000 electric cars in 2015 and 5 million in 2020?

Jiang Jiuchun: According to the development trend of the current battery, I think there will be breakthrough progress by 2016. At that time, the price of the battery will drastically drop. For instance, at present, according to the 2 Ah time, the market price is more than ten dollars. In this way, the price of an electric car battery should be half as cheap as it was before, and the problem that cannot be reduced now is mainly output.

From the capacity point of view, it can be increased by 0.5 times. This is mainly based on technological advances. Some manufacturers have already produced 230 kWh/kg batteries, which is much higher than our current average of 100 kWh/kg.

From the standpoint of life, the life of a single battery is 3,000 times, and the entire battery can reach 1600 times. There is no problem when it is used for 6 years.

Therefore, according to this trend, electric cars can run for 300 kilometers on a single charge in 2016, and there is no problem in competing with fuel vehicles.

At that time, the planning goals were considered relatively high. I am now more optimistic. According to this trend, the target of 5 million vehicles in 2020 may be too low. However, it should be pointed out that at present, only lithium batteries can adapt to the development of electric vehicles, and other batteries have a long way to go from industrialization.

"The impact of centralized charging of electric vehicles on the power grid must be considered."

China Electric Power News: The battery management system you developed has occupied more than 50% of the domestic market. Would you please give us a brief introduction?

Jiang Jiuchun: The battery management system is actually a device that efficiently uses the battery. It can provide some information for the vehicle or charging. It is the most basic function to ensure the safe use of the battery and to increase the service life. The re-professional point is the thermal management of the entire battery system, because the battery recession is relatively sensitive to heat, and controlling the heat can greatly improve the life of the battery pack.

We probably started designing the battery management system from 1997. The earliest experiments were conducted on lead-acid batteries, and later on nickel-metal hydride batteries. Today, they are mainly lithium batteries. At present, we have developed a sixth-generation battery management system that can be integrated with the vehicle design. From 2011 to 2013, we produced a total of more than 18,000 systems, which accounted for more than half of our national market.

China Electric Power News: Your battery management system has also undergone an upgrade process. What is the path?

Jiang Jiuchun: From the hardware point of view, the earliest separation of the original test, and later into a distributed system, and then later into an integrated chip to collect data. The software was initially programmed manually, and now we have achieved modularity and full traceability.

Now the battery management system is installed with the battery, and the battery data is passed to the vehicle controller and passed to the charging facility for rational use of the battery. Now our technology research and development are basically in sync with foreign countries. In the future, we need further processing in some details and special circumstances.

China Electric Power News: Your research and development charging station is also the most advanced in China. Would you please briefly introduce it?

Jiang Jiuchun: Regarding charging stations, we designed a small charging station in Shantou in 2000. In 2004, we built the first charging station in China, which is the Beijing Xihuangzhuang charging station. In 2008, the Beijing Olympics charging station we built was later promoted to the Shanghai World Expo and the Guangzhou Asian Games. We have established a technical system for charging stations in China. Almost all charging stations in the back are built according to this framework.

Now we are mainly studying the charging station microgrid and how to solve the impact of the charging station on the power grid. For electric cars, even if they are developed, their power consumption still only occupies a small proportion of the power system, but there will be problems of local concentration. If a lot of electric vehicles in a region are charged, it may cause the distribution network to fail. According to the analysis, about 80% of distribution grids in Beijing cannot meet this large-scale charging demand. One way to solve this problem is to increase the existing power distribution capacity and solve it from the perspective of increasing energy storage and renewable energy. Another is to adjust the charging time. What we are studying is to achieve local independence of the microgrid and to meet the charging requirements of electric vehicles without changing the existing distribution network system.

"Inspire competition awareness among car manufacturers and avoid retaking old roads"

China Electric Power News: Now there is a problem in the electric vehicle industry that we have many brands and many models, and the opposite is true in foreign countries.

Jiang Jiuchun: Our automobile manufacturers are more and more. Each depot has developed a lot of models so that we do not have a model that currently sells more than 10,000 vehicles. This is not the case in foreign countries. For example, there are only three major automobile plants in the United States. The sales volume of a Nissan Leaf has exceeded 100,000 vehicles. The problem is that our depots did not think clearly when designing cars. Who sold them? Like Tesla sold very hot, it was positioned as a high-end crowd.

At present, we have a tendency that previous depots have made enough money through the introduction of joint ventures, and now the development of electric vehicles also wants to do so. If we have invested so much money, we cannot create a suitable model. The final result can only be imported from abroad. In the future, we need to have a concept of “the wolf is coming” and let the competition be limited to a certain extent. This is also a good thing for the electric vehicle industry. For example, selling Nissan's speech directly to the domestic market will cost about 30,000 U.S. dollars, and the same price of Kai Chen will be much higher, allowing them to compete in the market and inevitably forcing joint ventures to carry out research and development.

Germany's discussion with us on the issue of harmonized charging standards for electric vehicles has shown that they are ready to enter the Chinese market, which is the same as it was 30 years ago.

China Electric Power News: When it comes to Tesla, how do you see its development?

Jiang Jiuchun: I don’t think Tesla is a good model, nor is it very optimistic about its prospects. Tesla claims that the core technology is battery management. It uses more than 7000 batteries in parallel and can run for four or five hundred kilometers. However, the probability of problems is relatively high, and there are problems with security. And from the perspective of its vehicle weight and the power it consumes, energy efficiency is not cost-effective, but only a concept.

China Electric Power News: How do you think about wireless charging technology?

Jiang Jiuchun: I think that wireless charging technology can be widely used in the future. It is now ready for use in the small-industrial stage. The safety and convenience are much higher than the current charging pile, so he will become a charging field. It is an important development method. Now our domestic 6-kilowatt and 30-kilowatt samples have been developed and there is no problem with the technology itself. The question now is how to mount the magnet to the vehicle. The problem of earthquake protection needs to be considered.

China Electric Power News: A very important model for the development of electric vehicles is the V2G (electric vehicles selling electricity to the grid). What kind of dynamics is there in the industry?

Jiang Jiuchun: Research is currently being conducted at home and abroad and there has been no breakthrough. I think that when electric vehicles develop to a certain number, they can become an important part of the power grid. Users in the United States using the V2G model can earn $4,000 a year, but our pricing model is different. The United States is a time-shared electricity price, and we are a peak-valley electricity price. Therefore, in the future, the electricity price model must be adjusted.

China Electric Power News: Nowadays, low-speed electric vehicles in Shandong and Henan have developed rapidly but are also being questioned. What do you think about this?

Jiang Jiuchun: I think that low speed cannot be synonymous with low technology. Now these low-speed electric vehicles use lead-acid batteries, DC motors, and the price can be sold very cheaply. However, in the future, lead-acid batteries will generate a lot of pollution during the recycling process. It is not cheap to count environmental costs.

In the future, we hope that low-speed vehicles can use lithium batteries and advanced drive systems, which are good for industrial development and the environment. If the technical threshold of low-speed vehicles is not set up now, it will be very troublesome once it is rolled out.

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