Manufacturing News

Geely to build methanol-powered cars in Guiyang

Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. broke ground last week on an assembly plant for methanol-fueled car vehicles in Guiyuang, the capital of southwest China's coal-rich Guizhou province.

The 5.6 billion yuan ($875 million) factory will include a stamping plant, a body shop, a paint shop and a final assembly line.

The plant will build up to 100,000 methanol-powered vehicles a year after starting production in 2017, according to Geely and the Guizhou provincial government. These vehicles can run on pure gasoline, pure methanol, or a blend of the two.

Geely produces a small number of methanol cars in its Lanzhou plant in northwest China's Gansu province. The company has launched a demonstration program for the vehicles in several domestic cities, including Guiyang.

Methanol for the cars is produced through a coal gasification process.

In July, Geely announced that it would invest 282 million yuan in Icelandic methanol producer Carbon Recycling International over the next three years.

The two companies will produce methanol fuel in China. They also plan to develop and sell methanol-powered cars in China, Iceland and other European countries.

The project is part of Geely's effort to develop vehicles powered by alternative fuels. At the Guangzhou auto show last week, the private Chinese automaker launched sales of its first electric car, a variant of the Emgrand compact sedan.

Geely plans to expand its lineup of electric cars with the help of its Swedish subsidiary, Volvo Car Corp. Geely wants EVs, plug-in hybrids and conventional hybrids to generate more than 90 percent of its annual sales by 2020.

Geely, headquartered in the east China city of Hangzhou, sold more than 404,000 gasoline-powered cars in the first ten months of this year, up 27 percent from the same period last year.

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