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Volkswagen further strengthens activities in China with market entry of SEAT and Smart City Project; smaller EVs

The Volkswagen Group is further expanding its business in its most important market, China, with the entry of SEAT, a member of the Volkswagen Group, and the Smart City Project.

Volkswagen Group China, SEAT and the Chinese auto manufacturer JAC, which together form the joint venture JAC Volkswagen, continue to drive SEAT’s market-entry strategy. The Spanish brand aims to enter the Chinese market in the coming two to three years.

By 2028, more than half of the 22 million e-cars planned by the Volkswagen Group will be produced in China. The goal is to deliver around 1.5 million electrified vehicles, most of them pure e-cars, to customers by 2025.

The joint venture owned R&D center in Hefei is an important pillar in developing future mobility solutions for the Chinese market. It also provides resources for the co-development of battery vehicles and components. The center is currently under construction and is expected to open in 2021. In addition, JAC and SEAT plan to develop their own platform for smaller e-cars.

In the world’s largest market for electric mobility, the close cooperation between SEAT and JAC will allow us to create synergies, which will significantly increase our market coverage. Notably, the smaller electric cars segment is growing rapidly and offers a lot of potential.

—Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG and Chairman of the Board of Directors of SEAT

In addition to the next steps for the JAC Volkswagen joint venture and SEAT, an agreement has been signed to focus on the development of future mobility solutions.

In a smart city partnership with the city of Hefei in the Anhui province, requirements and demand for future mobility in a fully connected city are to be tested and smart mobility solutions will be developed. The strategic framework agreement was signed by Volkswagen Group China and its associated mobility company Mobility Asia, as well as JAC and the government of Hefei.

Volkswagen Group China is already exciting millions of Chinese customers with a wide range of vehicles. With this cooperation, we demonstrate that we are working hard to take a leading role in the field of smart mobility solutions in the Chinese market as well.

—Dr. Stephan Wöllenstein, CEO Volkswagen Group China

The initiative will give Volkswagen the opportunity to test new technologies, business models and products in a connected smart city environment. The focus of the partnership is the development of autonomous driving. Volkswagen Group China, Mobility Asia and JAC will pool their resources and collaborate on autonomous mobility services, including self-driving vehicles (robotaxis) and autonomous fleet management. In addition, the Smart City partnership includes areas such as ride railing or car sharing.

Around eight million people live in the city of Hefei, which aims to become a state-of-the-art smart city with the help of this partnership.

Comments

HarveyD

Small, much lower cost mass produced EVs could soon master the clean car markets in China and India

Lad

The news here is China is developing a huge EV market which many of the important clean energy players are supporting by developing low prices cars and their associated low cost batteries. The clean energy transition will accelerate when companies start building affordable cars.

Also and hopefully, the political climate in the U.S. will be changed after the 2020 election to remove the current excessive tariffs designed to protect the U.S. fossil fuel pollution industries.

HarveyD

A new government in Canada may force the installation of a protected Trans-Canada Federal energy corridor (mainly for Oil & Gas pipelines) from the Pacific to Atlantic coast, to ship the Alberta/Sask oil and gas on the international markets. Since oil extracted from the Tar Sands is up to 16%/17% dirtier than conventional oil, the direct and indirect associated (worldwide) pollution and GHGs will increase.

A national clean energy (electricity) corridor would make more sense but would quickly be rejected by Oil & Gas producing Provinces.

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