Feature: Indian engineer thrives together with China's NEV industry
"I'm impressed by Chinese people's persistence. At the very beginning, their aim was to make an NEV, then to make a good NEV," said Yusuf Khambaty, an NEV engineer working in China.
HEFEI, Sept. 3 (Xinhua) -- Yusuf Khambaty would never have anticipated the spectacular growth of an emerging industry here when he first came to China from India over 10 years ago.
This aerial photo taken on July 11, 2023 shows new energy vehicles for export at a terminal of Taicang Port, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Photo by Ji Haixin/Xinhua)
The 35-year-old majored in automotive engineering at Coventry University. After his graduation in 2011, he worked as an engineer for a British auto parts company before getting an opportunity to come to China because of the company's collaboration with a Beijing-based automobile enterprise.
"I was very interested in the automobile industry of China then. That (Chinese) company was so young and was developing new technologies about new energy vehicles (NEVs), so I chose to come to China to learn more," he said.
Back then, China's NEV industry was still in its infancy, with fossil-fueled cars being the first choice for most Chinese auto enterprises and customers. But the government had already begun rolling out supportive policies to promote NEVs across the country.
Realizing the great potential of China's NEV industry, Yusuf decided to stay in China and has since worked for several Chinese auto companies as an engineer. The exponential growth of China's NEV industry in the following decade attested to his right choice.
Data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers show that in 2011, less than 10,000 NEVs were sold in China, but the number surged to over 3.5 million in 2021. Today, China has topped the world in NEV production and sales for eight consecutive years.
This photo taken on July 4, 2022 shows a workshop of the Volkswagen Anhui MEB (Modular Electric Drive Matrix) plant under construction in east China's Anhui Province. (Xinhua)
"I've seen the car companies and the whole automotive industry taking a transition from conventional vehicles to NEVs. And I'm impressed by Chinese people's persistence. At the very beginning, their aim was to make an NEV, then to make a good NEV," said Yusuf.
In all these years, the Chinese auto-makers have put a premium on research and development, and kept updating technologies and improving manufacturing capabilities, he added.
In the midst of the transformation, the young engineer has engaged in a number of innovative projects and made progress along with the booming NEV industry.
Today, Yusuf works in NIO, an emerging NEV automaker, as an Electric Drive System test engineer. In his workplace, there are more than 100 robots and over 30 Automatic Guided Vehicles, making his job much easier.
In his view, China's NEV industry owes its fast growth to continuous policy support, complete manufacturing chains and consumers' open mind to new things.
"The Chinese government has launched a raft of measures to promote NEV industry, such as subsidizing NEV buyers to stimulate consumption. China can realize high automation, which is one of the key advantages of mass production," said Yusuf, adding that the changing needs of Chinese consumers also drive NEV companies to keep innovating better products.
New energy vehicles are charged in a multifunctional NEV charging station in Hefei, capital of east China's Anhui Province, July 4, 2023. (Xinhua/Liu Fangqiang)
As a veteran engineer, Yusuf also sees the close connection between Chinese NEV companies and the world. "China welcomes foreign investment and global cooperation. For example, the company I am working for has been cooperating with partners worldwide to develop software and auto parts," he said.
Amid China's broader opening-up, a growing number of foreign engineers like Yusuf are coming to China, embracing the promising market and better job opportunities.
"Not only the experienced foreign engineers but also many foreign graduates in China decide to stay and work here. China has (an) extensive market, countless opportunities and is developing so fast, which is attractive to us," Yusuf said.
Yusuf is confident in China's NEV industry and economic development, voicing hope of extending his stay here to participate in the development of new NEV products.
"China's auto and NEV sectors will continue to boom. This will bring in a lot of opportunities for young engineers like me across the world ... to be a part of this ever-growing industry. I look forward to being involved in future innovative projects and (will) continue to learn from them," he said.