Electric auto alliance wins government support

14:39, August 19, 2010      

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The electric vehicle alliance, made up of 16 central state-owned enterprises (SOEs), was established in Beijing on Aug. 18 and aims to share technology achievements through an open platform. The state-owned assets regulator will allocate 1.3 billion yuan in 2010 for the alliance and will continue to provide subsidies over the next few years.

There are high expectations on the state-owned alliance, but the alliance has also led to some concerns by smaller enterprises that fear market hegemony by the larger, more-developed state companies.

"Central SOEs have an overall advantage in developing the electric vehicle industry. We will strive to support central SOEs to accelerate the development of the electric vehicle industry," said Li Rongrong, chairman of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council (SASAC).

Li noted that central SOEs enjoy many advantages in developing electric vehicles, such as a relatively complete industrial chain; a leading position in battery research, development and manufacturing; and a strong foundation in building charging facilities and providing charging services.

The 16 members of the alliance are China FAW Group, China South Industries Group Corporation, Dongfeng Motor Corp, Dongfang Electric, China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corp, China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), General Research Institute for Nonferrous Metals, China Aviation Technology Import-Export Corporation (CATIC), Air China Industry and Technology, Aviation Industry Corporation of China, State Grid, China Potevio, China National Petroleum Corporation, China Petroleum and Chemical Corporation, China Southern Power Grid Company and China Poly Group.

Under the alliance's constitution, co-developed generic technologies will be shared by all members, while independently developed technologies will still belong to each member itself and can be exploited in accordance with market principles.

The alliance will unify technical and interface standards in every link of the industrial chain, classify certain technologies as core generic technologies, make efforts to achieve breakthroughs in research with the support of major companies and take various measures to promote the sharing of research results and intellectual property rights.

In response to the concern that the alliance of central companies may leave little room for the development of private electric-car makers, Li said that according to the State Council's plan, China will be able to produce 500,000 new-energy vehicles a year in the next three years, and new-energy vehicles will account for about 5 percent of the passenger cars sold in China.

The electric car market has huge potential that has yet to be developed, which is a great opportunity for all companies. Sometime later, related domestic or foreign companies will possibly be invited to join the alliance.

However, there was suspicion that central companies may take the opportunity of unifying technical standards to exclude other companies from the electric car market. Central companies are attractive to employees of private companies, not to mention that they are rich in capital and can easily buy technologies owned by private companies. In fact, several private electric-car companies were acquired by central companies last year.

By People's Daily Online

(Editor:祁澍文)

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