The second meeting of the 4th German-Chinese Automobile Congress was held online on Saturday with the theme, “innovation, transformation and upgrade”. Chinese and German experts discussed cooperation between the Chinese and German auto industries, new energy vehicles and intelligent vehicles.
Chinese companies attracted attention in this meeting because of hydrogen vehicles. Foton was the earliest Chinese company to research on hydrogen fuel cell trucks ,according to Li Hui, the general manager of Foton. More than 200 hydrogen fuel cell cars were put into use, and have traveled more than 4.3 million kilometers.
The commercial application of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles still faces three issues: technological difficulties, cost and commercial production.
He said Foton plans to start pilot operations of hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles during the 2020 Beijing Winter Olympics. And the company also hopes to collaborate with hydrogen production companies around the world.
Due to the pandemic and the difficulties of transformation, the auto industry is facing serious challenges this year. As an export-oriented country whose leading industry is autos, Germany needs the Chinese market. For example, the sales of Mercedes-Benz dropped by 10.2% worldwide in the past nine months, while sales in China increased by 8.3%.
Wang Weidong, a Chinese embassy official in Germany, said at the conference that the Chinese market is the only one that saw a growth in sales of German autos during the epidemic. And it showed the importance of cooperation when countries are faced with global challenges.
Audi and FAW reached an agreement to collaborate on high-end new energy vehicles on October 13. They hope to deepen the cooperation and lead the new energy market.
Ferdinand Dudenhoeffer, the director of the Center for Automotive Research (CAR), said that the epidemic caused the decline of car sales. And collaborations among countries should be strengthened to achieve development and make up for the loss.
He also said that Chinese and German auto industries complement each other. They can get help from China in transformation, especially in the 5G area, which German car companies need to collaborate with leading company such as Huawei. And car companies all over the world are faced with challenges to reduce carbon emissions. China is leading in the production of new energy vehicles, and China promises to achieve carbon neutral goal in 2060. German companies should seize the opportunities to strengthen the collaboration with Chinese auto enterprises, which have a promising potential in new energy vehicles.
Global cooperation is the key to the development of vans. Strengthening the collaboration with China will help make progress in emissions-free and consumer-oriented production, the leader of Mercedes-Benz Vans Operations said.
(Compiled by Wei Yuanyuan)