News - Hyundai
Hyundai working on EV for China: report
BAIC, Hyundai working on new EV brand to take advantage of Chinese incentives
12 Sep 2011
SOUTH Korean carmaker Hyundai is reportedly preparing to develop an electric vehicle brand in China with its joint-venture partner Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Company (BAIC) – China’s third-largest automotive conglomerate.
China Car Times reported that the move from Hyundai is a bid to further boost its presence in what is now the world’s largest car market.
Hyundai Motor Company Australia senior manager for PR and events Ben Hershman told GoAuto the announcement had come from Hyundai’s Chinese partner but that no decision had yet been made.
The EV is expected to be built at Hyundai’s third Chinese factory, which is under construction and scheduled to be completed next year.
As GoAuto has reported, both BAIC and Hyundai are already developing EV technology but it remains unclear as to what the new joint EV brand will be.
A year ago Hyundai unveiled its BlueOn concept, a battery-powered version of the company’s i10 city car that had a claimed 130km/h top speed and 140km range from its lithium-ion polymer (LiPoly) battery pack.
Chinese EVs: (From top) BAIC C71, BYD E6, BYD F3 dual mode.
BAIC has also laid out plans to produce its first own-brand vehicle in the shape of a Mercedes-Benz B-class-style electric people-mover, followed by at least four more EVs and a plug-in hybrid over the next three years.
As part of a push in China – and capital Beijing’s autonomous government in particular – car manufacturers and customers are being encouraged to go electric.
In response to the explosion in cars and trucks jamming Beijing’s road network, monthly new vehicle registrations have already been limited to 20,000 in a lottery system that results in just one in 20 applicants gaining permission to register a vehicle.
However, in Beijing EVs are offered with incentives including unrestricted registration, while five other Chinese cities (Shanghai, Hangzhou, Changchun, Hefei and Shenzhen) offer a subsidy of 60,000 yuan (about $A9000) to EV buyers, which is expected to create greater demand for battery-powered vehicles.
Hyundai’s tie-up with BAIC has already resulted in most Beijing taxis, fleet and government vehicles wearing Hyundai badges, so the EV deal is likely to give the joint-venture a considerable ready-made customer base.
General Motors also sees the Chinese opportunity in developing EVs and is constructing a global design and engineering hub for electric vehicles and other green technology in Shanghai.
Hyundai sold 363,473 vehicles in China in the first half of this year, an increase of 10.6 per cent, placing the company on schedule for its full-year target of 720,000 units.
BAIC also encompasses Foton, which, along with partner Daimler, makes it one of the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturers.
Foton already sells a limited range of trucks in Australia through an import deal with Daimler-owned Western Star and is about to start selling one-tonne utes here through Sydney-based importer WMC Group, which also has the import contracts for Chinese-made Higer buses and JAC trucks and cars.
In June, BAIC and Daimler announced an expansion of their cooperation to include building the GLK compact SUV in China along with three as-yet unspecified Benz compact cars, expand production capacity for the C-class and E-class, build a four-cylinder petrol engine plant, and establish a research and development centre.
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