Manufacturing News

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.

Participants will include China FAW Group Corp., Dongfeng Motor Corp. and SAIC Motor Corp. as well as several universities and research organizations.

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.

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