Europe’s biggest automaker, Volkswagen (VW), plans to launch its first pure-electric car in China next year. This is resolution came as a result of Beijing’s persistence for the industry to promote alternatives to gasoline.
The VW model will be the first in a range of electric vehicles in China and it is due to be produced under a new brand with state-owned Jianghuai Automotive Corp as a local partner.
China has the world’s most aggressive electric car goals. Communists are promoting them to clean up smog choked cities and in hopes of taking the lead in an emerging technology. Regulators have jolted the industry with a proposal to require electrics to account for eight (8) percent of each brand’s production by next year.
The plan to create a new brand for the VW-Jianghuai partnership follows an approach taken by Mercedes-Benz, GM and Nissan Motors. Foreign brands are under pressure from Chinese regulators to help local partners create indigenous brands.
Volkswagen vies with General Motors as China’s top selling automaker with a projected sale of 400,000 electric and gasoline-electric hybrids by 2020 and 1.5 million by 2025.