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Recent Developments in China’s Electrified Drive Components and Integrated Mechatronics Market

Electrified parts (motors, gearboxes) in China are mainly developed by automobile manufacturers such as BYD, Great Wall Motor and NIO, and auto parts suppliers such as Jing-Jin Electric Technologies (JJE), FDM (Zhejiang Founder Motor) and Shanghai Edrive. By utilizing technical know-how accumulated in the fields of motors and gearboxes, companies develop integrated mechatronics systems, consisting of two or three components which are motors, gearboxes and motor controllers. Chinese companies are also advancing the development of X-in-1 integrated mechatronics systems which also include DC-DC converters, chargers and PDU (power distribution unit) among other components. The integrated mechatronics systems contribute to the realization of downsizing, lightweighting, cost reduction and more efficient assembly of automobiles.

Looking at trends related to electrified parts development of Chinese automakers, BYD, Changan Automobile, Great Wall Motor and NIO among others have independently developed integrated mechatronics systems that integrate motors, gearboxes, motor controllers and other components. As of November 2020, BYD and Changan Automobile have already completed development of integrated mechatronics systems that integrate eight and seven components respectively. In October 2020, SAIC Group’s subsidiary Shanghai Automobile Gear Works signed a partnership agreement with powertrain electronics supplier Shenzhen VMAX New Energy to cooperate in the development, production and sales of 7-in-1 electric drive systems. Another major Chinese automaker Dongfeng Motor will adopt Nissan Motor’s e-Power drive motor technology in order to improve product competitiveness.

Looking at recent trends of Chinese auto parts suppliers are focusing on the introduction, supply and production capacity expansion of integrated mechatronics systems. JJE held world premiere of the JJE EDM-4000 electric drive system at the Beijing motor show in September 2020. The system uses a hairpin motor that can reduce copper loss with a maximum efficiency of 94%. In November 2020, Huayu Magna Electric Drive System, a joint venture between China’s Huayu Automotive Systems and Canada’s Magna International, began commercial production of electric drive systems for VW’s MEB modular platform which was developed for BEVs. FDM’s new plant, which is scheduled to go into full operation in 2021, is planned to have an annual production capacity of 200,000 drive motors and 150,000 electric drive systems.

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