Chinese auto makers quicken energy-efficient vehicle development

08:06, July 20, 2010      

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Chinese automakers have begun to ramp up efforts to develop hybrid autos, a move which industry experts said is crucial for China to transform from being a "big nation" to a "powerful nation" within the auto industry.

In the ongoing seventh China Automobile Fair in northeast China' s Jilin Province, China FAW Group Corporation said the Besturn B50 plug-in hybrid vehicle, which employs multiple energy-saving techniques, would be available to consumers soon.

Grappling with high emission challenges and maintaining sustainable development is essential for Chinese auto makers to sharpen their competitive edge against their global rivals, said Gao Bo, director with the Science and Information Department of the research center in China FAW Group Corporation.

China overtook the United States to become the world' s largest auto maker and auto market in 2009, with output and sales hitting 13.79 million and 13.64 million units, respectively, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) showed.

Gao urged Chinese auto makers to create major innovations to produce energy efficient autos, which developed countries have already completed, in a shorter time given the mounting worldwide regulations to prevent greenhouse emissions.

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co., China' s largest privately-owned auto maker, displayed hybrid cars employing the idle start-stop technology, which is reported to have fuel savings of 5 to 8 percent, and the company said it plans to apply this technology to all cars it manufactures..

If all the 13.64 million units of cars were equipped with the idle start-stop device, it would equal over 1 million cars operating at zero-emission, said Yang Xueliang, public relation director of the Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co.

Analysts pointed out that developing a new energy automobile is the first choice for resolving emission problems, but a more feasible way is to advance technological innovation to prompt traditional vehicles to become more energy- efficient.

Fu Yuwu, vice chairman of the Society of China Automobile Engineers, said auto manufacturers should assume their responsibility in resource exploration and environmental protection because the auto industry is a heavy user of resources and contributor to pollution.

The Chinese government has made continuous efforts in promoting energy-efficient vehicles to cut emissions, and the latest move was the promotion of clean-energy vehicles for public transportation in June in seven more cities, on top of the 13 cities that began using such vehicles last year.

It also announced a green-car subsidy program on June 1, according to which buyers of purely electric vehicles would be subsidized up to 60,000 yuan (8,836.5 U.S. dollars) while those who purchase plug-in hybrid cars would receive subsidies of up to 50,000 yuan in five pilot cities.



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