China International Consumer Products Expo in Hainan: How Far Can New Energy Vehicles Go in Hainan?

February 26 23:09 2024

In March 2019, Hainan, China, became the most “progressive” region in new energy vehicles due to a government document. The “Hainan Province Clean Energy Vehicle Development Plan” announced the complete cessation of sales of fuel vehicles by 2030, making Hainan the first province in the country to have a clear timetable and a comprehensive roadmap for the clean energy transformation of all vehicle sectors.

As a result, Hainan, with its relatively small vehicle population, quickly became the leader in the penetration rate of new energy vehicles nationwide. The question now is how Hainan will leverage this industry and what kind of significant development can be expected for new energy vehicles in Hainan.

In the “Hainan Province Carbon Peak Implementation Plan” of 2022, in addition to reaffirming the cessation of sales of fuel vehicles by 2030, it was proposed that by 2025, the proportion of clean energy vehicles in the public service and social operation sectors should reach 100% for new and replacement vehicles.

To achieve these goals, Hainan has implemented policies such as fiscal subsidies, pilot demonstrations, and support for new energy vehicles in rural areas. To address the problem of inconsistent charging standards and incompatible systems among different charging service providers, Hainan has pioneered a “unified network” operation model throughout the island, enabling “one app to travel across the entire province.”

The National Development and Reform Commission of China praised Hainan for its unified layout of new energy vehicle charging and swapping infrastructure construction and operation across the island, covering an area of over 30,000 square kilometers, which is a pioneering initiative globally.

With favorable application scenarios and policy support, Hainan achieved a penetration rate of 50.8% for new energy vehicles in 2023, meaning that every two newly added vehicles in Hainan were new energy vehicles, ranking first among all provinces in China.

As a new frontier of China’s opening-up, Hainan has attracted many global automotive giants by utilizing the “five facilitations” of the free trade port system.

At the China International Consumer Products Expo, new energy vehicles have always been one of the most anticipated green consumer exhibits. From the “veteran” Tesla to established luxury car brands like Porsche, Bentley, and Lotus, as well as domestic new players, they showcase their latest models and other “black technology” every year.

The World New Energy Vehicle Congress has been held in Hainan for five consecutive years. During the 2023 World New Energy Vehicle Congress, Volkswagen Group (China) and the Hainan Provincial People’s Government signed a framework agreement to consolidate and expand their cooperation in the automotive industry and smart mobility.

Furthermore, the Hainan World New Energy Vehicle Experience Center project (Phase I) started construction at the end of last year and is planned to be completed and put into operation by 2025. It aims to combine motorsports with the new energy vehicle industry to create an industrial agglomeration effect.

Tesla Model X displayed at Anhui Pavilion at the 3rd China International Consumer Products Expo

NIO ET5 and ES7 displayed at Anhui Pavilion at the 3rd China International Consumer Products Expo

How far can new energy vehicles go in Hainan?

Range has always been a major challenge for the development of new energy vehicles. What was the average range of Chinese new energy vehicles in 2022? According to calculations based on relevant data from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, this number was close to 600 kilometers.

According to industry experts, a range of 1,000 kilometers is the true turning point for new energy vehicles to match the user experience of conventional fuel vehicles.

Coincidentally, Hainan’s main island tourist road has a total length of 988 kilometers, with speed limits of 40-60 km/h, making it suitable for new energy vehicles to test their range accuracy by driving around the island.

In April of this year, the fourth China International Consumer Products Expo plans to hold the first New Energy Vehicle Intelligent Connected Island Endurance Race on Hainan’s main island tourist road. This clever design combines the geographical characteristics of Hainan with key breakthroughs in new energy technology. Several new energy vehicle companies have been invited, and the first one to complete this perfect lap in Hainan will become the star “endurance king” of the automotive industry.

Some people say that whoever conquers the Hainan tourist road first will conquer the psychological barrier of new energy vehicle users.


Comparison of vehicle export data between China, the United States, Japan and Germany in recent years

In the new energy vehicle industry, Hainan may have just started, but, like the biggest advantage of electric vehicles – their high acceleration, Hainan’s progress is worth looking forward to due to institutional advantages and the dividends of being an early adopter.

In 2023, China became the world’s largest exporter of automobiles, marking a significant milestone in the industry. The soon-to-be-closed Hainan Free Trade Port will undoubtedly accelerate the process of Chinese domestic automakers going global.

By then, the new energy vehicle industry will go even further from Hainan, China.

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