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Green and clean car promotions begin to pay dividends (4)

By Qu Yingpu and He Wei (China Daily)

13:32, March 13, 2012

Electric car pioneers, including SAIC, Chery and BYD Motors have indicated their commitment to the development of electric vehicle technologies. SAIC, for instance, is planning to introduce Roewe E50, an all-battery-powered vehicle with the latest technology, by late 2012.

The car, which produces zero emissions, has a range of 120 kilometers on a full charge, compared to about 80 km for the existing models.

According to Hu Maoyuan, SAIC chairman, the E50 is "a result of the company's efforts", which he described as an example of "indigenous innovation". The company holds the patent and rights to all the key technologies it developed for this project.

To be sure, there are snags to overcome before hybrids and battery cars become a common sight on Chinese roads.

Battery performance remains the challenge to the practicality of electric vehicles. Wang said Chinese companies still lag far behind their competitors in the West and Japan in battery technology.

A study conducted by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs said China holds just 1 percent of the total patent registrations for lithium ion batteries, while Japan owns 52 percent and the US owns 22 percent.

Tsang said he believed China has many advantages for developing electric vehicles, including availability and integration of resources, and strong government support.

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