China's auto production base steers towards "green" future

21:50, July 22, 2010      

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Visitors to an international automobile fair in northeast China this year noticed a change taking place at the event: a greater number of hybrid and all-electric vehicles on display.

More than 30 models of all-electric buses, BEVs (battery electric vehicle) and new HEVs (hybrid electric vehicle) were on show at the 7th China Changchun International Automobile Fair, an eight-day event that ended Thursday.

"Only a handful of such vehicles were seen last year," said a visitor who identified himself as Liu.

To the big crowds of car enthusiasts in the exhibition hall, the new energy models were a major attraction.

An official with the automobile industrial development zone of Changchun, the host city of the fair, said local government is looking to cut energy emissions and create a "greener" city by producing and bringing more environment-friendly vehicles onto the road.

"Promoting new energy models and new car technologies at the fair is part of the government's drive to build a 'greener' city," said Li Xiangguo, director of the management committee of the development zone.

Changchun has long been known as the cradle of China's auto industry. In 1956, China produced its first self-made truck, the Jiefang, in Changchun at the First Automobile Works (FAW).

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