Electric cars in China have been spontaneously combusting, but players in the industry are charging ahead. The latest development sees German auto giant Volkswagen and its local partner Jianghuai Automobile Co (JAC) planning to set up a major electric vehicle (EV) plant in eastern China’s Anhui province.
JAC, a Chinese state-owned automobile and commercial vehicle manufacturer, will invest RMB 5.06 billion (USD 752 million) to build a new facility in Anhui’s provincial capital Hefei, according to an environmental review report of the project. The new plant will handle an annual production capacity of 100,000 all-electric cars.
The new Hefei plan will significantly boost Volkswagen’s EV output in China. While the German auto giant sold 4.2 million cars in the country last year, it lags far behind local competitors in EV sales. China, the world’s largest EV market, recorded 1.25 million EV sales last year. Volkswagen Group’s global EV sales was about 100,000 in 2018.
Volkswagen plans to ramp up its annual new energy vehicle (NEV) production in China to 400,000 by 2020 and launch 14 new EV models in China this year. Apart from the Anhui plant with JAC, the German automaker has reportedly started building a USD 2.5 billion NEV plant in Shanghai with local partner SAIC Motors.
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