Published On: Fri, Apr 28th, 2017

General Motors plans to launch 10 electric cars in China

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electric cars in ChinaGeneral Motors Co. plans to launch 10 electric cars in China by 2020. There will be different variants, including gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles as well. The automakers have speed up the roll-out of alternative vehicles under pressure from Beijing to promote the industry.

Speaking to a new conference in Shanghai auto show, Matt Tsien, the president of GM China said that the GM will start production of a pure-electric model within two years. He said that GM expects to sale 150, 000 electric and hybrid cars annually by 2020 and possibly reach the mark of 500, 000 by 2025.

China is the biggest auto market by the number of units sold and so other auto makers like Ford Motor Co., Volkswagen AG and Nissan Motor Co. are also announcing aggressive plans to make and sell electric vehicles in China.

GM unveiled a hybrid version of the Chevrolet Volt last week. It will be manufactured in China and sold under its Buick brand.

China’s communist government has the world’s most ambitious electric car goals, hoping both to clean up smog-choked cities and to take a lead in an emerging industry. Regulators are pressing foreign brands to help develop the industry.

Regulators nudged the industry by proposing a requirement that electrics account for at least 8 percent of each brand’s production by next year, rising to 10 percent in 2019 and 12 percent in 2020. Automakers say they may be unable to meet those targets and regulators have suggested they might be reduced or postponed.

Beijing also is due to enforce what auto executives say are the world’s most demanding emissions standards. They say that is likely to require all manufacturers to include electrics in their lineup to meet targets for average fleet emissions.

GM, which competes with VW for the status of China’s top-selling automaker, reported 2016 sales rose 7.1 percent to a record 3.9 million vehicles.

Foreign automakers had been reluctant to sell electric cars in China because regulators required them to transfer valuable intellectual property to local partners or face import duties of 25 percent even if the vehicles were produced at a Chinese factory.

Beijing has eased those requirements in an effort to attract foreign participants, though automakers say the final ground rules for electric vehicle production have yet to be announced.

The Cabinet’s planning agency announced a goal in February of having 100,000 public charging stations and 800,000 private stations operating by the end of this year.

Electric cars also are exempt from sales tax and license plate quotas Beijing, Shanghai and other cities use to curb congestion and smog. Still, sales of electric and gasoline-electric hybrids fell 4.4 percent from a year earlier in the first quarter to 55,929 vehicles while SUV purchases rose 21 percent to 2.4 million.

Tsien said manufacturers will need to develop vehicles that appeal to customers for reaching the set goals for electric cars in China.

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