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VW Plugging Into Chinese EV Market

Maker promises to invest $27 bil over 5 years.

by on Apr.20, 2014

VW will launch the e-Golf and an assortment of other battery-based vehicles in China.

With Beijing’s traffic choked roads as a backdrop, Volkswagen announced a major initiative to put tens, perhaps 100s of thousands of electric vehicles on the road in China before the end of the current decade.

VW chief executive officer Martin Winterkorn said VW and its key Chinese partners were prepared to spend as much as $27 billion in the next five years on electric vehicles in China.

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“The Volkswagen Group is once again assuming a pioneering role in China and launching the biggest initiative for e-mobility in China’s automotive history”, s said. Martin Winterkorn,

The initiative gets underway with the launch this year of the Volkswagen brand’s electric Up! and e-Golf models in China.

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Daimler Betting Big on Hydrogen Fuel Cells

China could be critical electric vehicle market, says CEO Zetsche.

by on Apr.10, 2014

The Mercedes-Benz F-Cell hydrogen car.

Daimler AG’s top executives believe hydrogen fuel cells hold the key to developing a broader range of electric vehicles in the future.

Dieter Zetsche, Daimler AG’s top executive and head of the Mercedes-Benz Car Group, told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting in Berlin the German automaker is committed to electric vehicle technology.  China, the world’s single largest car market, now has plans for putting millions of EVs on the road by the end of the decade.

Electrifying!

“With our Chinese partner BYD, we have developed an electric vehicle in China for China,” he said. The Denza, which was developed with BYD, will debut at the Beijing Auto Show later this month, he added.  “China plans to have five million electric vehicles on the road by 2020 and we’re ready to help,” Zetsche added.

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Daimler, BYD Launching New Battery Car

by on Feb.27, 2014

The new Daimler-BYD joint venture will launch its first battery-car concept, the Denza NEV, in Beijing.

Mercedes’ parent Daimler AG plans to launch an all-new battery-electric vehicle it has developed as part of a joint venture with China’s BYD. To be sold through the new Denza brand, it will make its debut in concept form at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show.

The show car will be called the NEV, short for New Energy Vehicle.  The hatchback will use a pure battery-electric design with its batteries mounted under the floor and its electric motor driving the front wheels.

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The German maker provided the basic vehicle architecture for the Denza NEV concept, along with key componentry, including the safety system.  BYD, already one of the key players in the emerging Chinese battery-car market, supplied the underlying drive system.

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Despite Weakening Economy, Chinese Car Sales Still Solid

Chinese airline to start in-flight car sales.

by on Mar.12, 2013

VW and GM remain locked in a battle for dominance in the booming Chinese market.

Surging global stock markets slipped back this week as China released surprisingly weak economic data – but one sector of the vast Asian nation’s economy remains strong, Chinese car sales surging 40% for the first two months of 2013 after an unexpectedly weak performance last year.

For some carmakers, Chinese demand appears to be surging as they bring on new products, while for others, it is taking new discounts to help bolster sales.

But industry analysts continue to worry about what may happen as government regulators come under increasing pressure from both the public and a new cadre of Communist Party leaders to tighten environmental regulations in the wake of record pollution levels in the capital Beijing and other parts of the country. As TheDetroitBureau.com recently reported, stricter automotive emission rules – possibly including a press for more battery cars – are being actively considered.

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The 40% year-to-date increase in overall Chinese car sales comes despite a drop in February as the Chinese celebrated the Lunar New Year, a week-long holiday during which little or no business is transacted across China.

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China’s Car Boom Could Go Bust

Reining in sales in the name of clean air.

by on Mar.01, 2013

Ford CEO Alan Mulally during a recent trip to China. Ford's sales are booming but could slip if regulators curtail the Chinese market.

After a few stutters last year, China’s massive automotive market seemed to get back on track in January, sales surging 46% compared to year-earlier levels. Yet there’s growing concern that the good times won’t continue for long.

There are a number of reasons to be worried, including a still frail global economy, nagging regional issues that include an ongoing territorial dispute with Japan and declining foreign investment. Yet the biggest concern, it seems, may be China’s endemic and worsening problems with air pollution.

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That has already led Chinese regulators to call for a rapid switch to battery-powered vehicles. But with market demand lagging Beijing’s call, a growing number of observers fear the central government may soon put in place steps to curb automotive ownership.

A growing number of major cities, including capital Beijing and economic center Shanghai, have already put restrictions in place, such as monthly limits on new vehicle registrations – though such measures have generally been aimed at curbing traffic problems, rather than emissions issues.

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China: Clean Cars, Dirty Coal Don’t Mix

New study warns battery cars could actually worsen air in cities like Beijing.

by on Feb.14, 2012

China's Datong coal-fired generating plant.

Chinese regulators have put a premium on turning to battery power for the nation’s fast-growing automotive fleet.  But a new study questions whether they are simply going to trade off one form of pollution for another.

With the vast bulk of China’s electric power coming from coal generators, the new study by the University of Tennessee, University of Minnesota, and China’s Tsinghua University suggests that for most of that country’s consumers, gasoline-powered vehicles or those using conventional hybrid-electric technology may actually be cleaner than those proponents prefer to bill as “zero-emission” vehicles, or ZEVs.

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The benefits of going “green” vary by region.  Across China, 68% of electricity is now generated from coal.  But in some regions, such as the area around the massive Three Rivers Gorge damn project where there’s the availability of plenty of hydro power, the payoff is more substantial.

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GM Exec Says Chinese Venture Will Focus on New Battery Car

China will not get access to Chevy Volt technology, insists senior executive.

by on Sep.20, 2011

GM will not provide the Chinese with the technology secrets of the Chevy Volt, a senior official insists.

General Motors’ new joint venture with its Chinese partner SAIC will focus on the development of an all-new battery-electric vehicle, a senior GM official says.

The U.S. automaker will not provide the Chinese with intellectual property for what many see as its crown jewel, the extended-range electric vehicle Chevrolet Volt, insisted Vice Chairman Steve Girsky.  But, during a media conference call hosted from Shanghai, the former Wall Street analyst acknowledged that GM will be sharing significant intellectual property with its Chinese partner.

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The deal, signed today by GM officials and their counterparts at the Shanghai Automotive Industrial Corp., is the latest in a series of partnerships between the two manufacturers.  It will take aim at what some believe could become the fastest-growing segment in the booming Chinese automotive market.

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Hertz, GE Partner to Expand EV Use in China

Taking advantage of China’s shift to battery power.

by on Aug.25, 2011

The BYD e6 is one of the battery cars Hertz plans to offer in China.

Plagued by pollution and saddled with an increasingly massive bill for foreign oil, China is putting a major emphasis on switching to battery power – and rent-a-car company Hertz is teaming up with GE to take advantage of this transition.

Hertz Corporation is expanding its Global EV initiative to China, making it the first global rental car company to offer electric vehicles on three continents.

“China has committed to rapidly expand electric vehicle travel and Hertz is committed to supporting the important EV Pilot City program,” said Mark P. Frissora, the rental car company’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Working with our existing rental car network in China and partners such as GE, we are dedicated to helping build the necessary EV infrastructure in China and to create a new transportation solution that employs the latest technology and harnesses innovations being launched in China today.”

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Both Hertz and GE Industrial Solutions will leverage each other’s services, products and client bases to go to market together as business partners.  They plat to co-locate electric vehicles and GE’s EV infrastructure across China. The two companies will bundle EV leasing and charging facilities as a solution, which will be offered to multinational companies and government agencies looking – or forced – to go green.

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Volkswagen Planning Big Battery-Car Push In China

Maker aims to sell 10,000 in China; may design unique EV for Asian market.

by on Nov.11, 2010

Volkswagen's e-Up battery car could find a market in China as early as 2013.

Volkswagen plans to begin market an electric vehicle in China as early as 2013, and may design a battery vehicle specifically for the Asian nation, a senior company official said.

Now the world’s largest national automotive market, China is struggling with a variety of problems, including the challenge of maintaining oil supplies and the need to reduce the severe pollution that chokes its major cities.  That has led the Beijing government to encourage makers, both domestic and foreign, to begin turning to electric propulsion.

Karl-Thomas Neumann, the president of Volkswagen China Group, said VW will produce battery-electric cars, or BEVs, in China, through its two separate joint ventures, one with FAW Group, the other with SAIC Motor.  During a conference on electric vehicles in Shenzhen, Neumann also suggested VW may develop a battery car specifically for the Chinese market.

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Currently, Volkswagen is working on a variety of electrification programs, from conventional hybrids to pure BEVs.  Among the latter is the eUP, a battery-powered version of its new microcar, the VW UP.  Its first model to reach China will be a hybrid version of the Touareg SUV, which will go on sale there this year.

“There is a very strong argument that electric cars are the right move for China, although there are still many challenges,” Neumann said, during the Shenzhen event. “China is making huge investments in renewable energy.”

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