Hanergy’s flexible thin-film components can be directly installed onto a PVC/PTFE membrane surface without affecting the car performance and solving the problem of high electrical power consumption. MiaSolé,GSE and Alta Devices’ chip products feature lightness, thinness and flexibility, among other characteristics, which make them fit to be widely used in low speed car/mopeds, sightseeing cars and buses, dining cars and other many vehicles, as long as their speed is of less of 70 km/h. Low-speed electric vehicles in China, driven by an increasing demand in recent years despite the uncertain concerning public policies, continue to experience a rapid development. In 2016, there were around 1 million of them only in China.
The provinces in China where low-speed electric cars are mainly found are Shandong, Hebei and Henan; whereas in other provinces such as Hubei, Sichuan, Hunan, Anhui, Jiangxi and Shanxi, the local development of electric cars has been in line with the development of the market itself. The Guidelines on Fostering Innovative Development for Transportation Enterprises, which was jointly issued by six different central government departments on December 2016, clearly points out the importance of encouraging the development of industry linkage, fostering the in-depth integration of transportation and tourism to develop a richer tourism industry and better transportation services in scenic spots, and promoting new equipment and technological applications.
At present there are already enterprises launching products for each car model manufacturer (the original manufacture market), a fact which enhances the application of solar panels in low-speed vehicles. As these vehicles become more accepted in the future, the market demand will gradually rise accordingly. Regarding consumers (the aftersale market, and referring both to individuals and enterprises) considering that mini cars, dining cars and electric three-wheel logistics cars have a relatively large area for the installation of solar technology, power generation becomes efficient, and charging inconveniences are solved. Accordingly, user acceptance and market volume are also high. At present, some owners of low-speed electric cars are already buying solar power components to install themselves with the aim to increase the driving distance of their low-speed electric cars while experiencing solar technology. As prices of thin-film solar products go down, the quantity of car modification for thin-film solar power will surely grow remarkably.
As it is known, the specific standards for low-speed electric cars are still being drafted; they will, however, be enjoying the same road driving rights as fuel-powered vehicles. The low-speed electric cars industry, which has an inelastic demand for solar car roofs allowing vehicles to charge during usage, will steeply rise in the following years. Since third-tier cities have relatively few charging points, cities below the third-tier level are the main market for this type of vehicles. Conservatively speaking, the market scale of low-speed cars will also break through the Gigawatt ceiling. Facing such a big low-end consumer market, the key for the future of low speed electric vehicles lies in upgrading and regulation. Getting low-speed electric vehicles to the new energy market will certainly stir-up the market and will mean yet another step further for our endeavor on the new energy vehicle field.