Beijing lands state-funded battery r&d center
The Chinese government unveiled a state-funded battery technology innovation center in Beijing last week to help domestic automakers improve battery technology for electric vehicles.
The r&d center will develop and test EV batteries, said the Ministry of Industry and information Technology, which regulates China's auto industry.
With a boost from generous government subsidies, China now is the world's largest market for EVs and plug-in hybrids.
In the first five months of this year, combined sales of EVs and plug-in hybrids surged 134 percent year on year to 126,000 vehicles. That figure includes 92,000 EVs and 34,000 plug-in hybrids.
Chinese automakers, except BYD Co. -- which has developed its own technology -- rely mostly on Korean suppliers such as LG Chem and Samsung for batteries.