VW in China

Open Road for Electric Cars

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    China leads the way when it comes to electric cars. So far Volkswagen has only been bringing up the rear. The latest decision could turn that around for VW.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Beijing’s top planning authority has approved Volkswagen’s joint venture with its Chinese partner, Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC Motor).
    • The Wolfsburg-based carmaker aims to sell 400,000 e-cars and hybrids – cars which combine combustion engines and electric motors – in China by 2020.
    • China is the leading global market for electric mobility. Last year, 507,000 e-cars and hybrids were sold, 53 percent more than the previous year.
  • Audio

    Audio

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FILE PHOTO: A worker installs rubber onto the windows of the doors along a production line at a truck factory of Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Co. Ltd in Hefei
VW's joint venture with JAC Motor will see 100,000 e-cars produced annually at the Chinese firm's facilities in Anhui. Source: Reuters

Volkswagen has cleared an important hurdle in its push to produce electric cars in China. Beijing’s top planning authority has approved the German carmaker’s joint venture with its Chinese partner, Jianghuai Automobile Group (JAC Motor), both companies confirmed to Handelsblatt.

With that, VW has announced it will start selling the first fully electric cars in China. The pure battery vehicles are expected to roll off the assembly line later this year and will come with a new brand name. Under the joint venture agreement, Volkswagen and JAC Motor will produce 100,000 e-cars annually. According to JAC Motor, which is state-owned, the 25-year partnership is worth more than 5.1 billion yuan, or $727 million. A Volkswagen spokesperson in Beijing confirmed an agreement had been concluded but declined to comment on the size of the investment.

It’s a bold move: Volkswagen is playing catch-up in matters of electric mobility in China. To change that, the Wolfsburg-based carmaker aims to sell 400,000 e-cars and hybrids – cars which combine combustion engines and electric motors – in China by 2020. Five years later, it is hoped that number will rise to 1.5 million vehicles.

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