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SAIC (Shanghai Automotive) Outlines Plans for Hybrid and Fuel Cell Vehicles

China Daily. Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp (SAIC), the second-largest of China’s biggest automakers behind First Automotive Works (FAW), plans to begin commercial production of hybrid-powered cars and buses under its own and foreign brands before 2008.

SAIC also said it will start small-volume commercial production of hydrogen-powered fuel-cell cars before 2010.

Zhu Xiangjun, a spokesperson for SAIC, told China Daily its annual output of hybrid-powered vehicles will be “several thousand units” during the period and will increase to "tens of thousands" before 2010.

In support of these efforts, SAIC on Friday entered a strategic collaboration deal with Shanghai Jiaotong University and Tongji University. Last November the company signed a joint development and commercialization agreement with GM on hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles in China. (Earlier post.)

Toyota begins production of the Prius in China later this year at its joint venture with FAW in Jilin Province.

Maple, the Shanghai-based unit of China’s privately-owned car maker Geely, also plans to begin commercial production of its own hybrid-powered cars in 2008. The company, which also has a deal with Tongji University, plans to manufacture 5,000 to 10,000 hybrid cars a year initially and expects such cars will account for half of its total annual sales in the long term. (Earlier post.)


Adrian Akau

The hybrids and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will become more appealing as oil becomes higher in price. There should be a point at which petrol and diesel horsepower costs per yuan will be the same as hybrid or hydrogen fuel cell costs. The expense of developing hybrids and hydrogen fuel cells appears more predictable than future oil prices which, at the present time and in the near future appear volatile and uncontrollable.

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