Plug-In Hybrid for Chinese Market Launched by Audi and FAW Group Partnership

April 18, 2014

The latest foreign auto maker whose aim is to assist China in achieving its clean-car ambitions is the Audi AG. This is following an announcement that the car maker had plans of building plug-in hybrid car in collaboration with its neighboring partner. A unit of Volkswagen AG, the German luxury car maker claimed that it would begin the production of a China-based plug in sedan. The car maker would work in collaboration with FAW Group, its Chinese partner. The new hybrid car model will be referred to as Audi A6 e-tron, whose basis will be the Audi A6 sedan’s long-wheel version.

China has, for a long time, pushed for pure electric cars as a means for the country to achieve its auto industry’s long-term vision. The country views electric cars as attractive and beneficial because they can play a major role in addressing environmental issues. Additionally, electric cars can help in reducing the extent at which the nation depends on imported gasoline.

Pure electric cars have been promoted by Chinese auto companies such as SAIC Motor Company and BYD Company. In recent months, a marketing drive in China was launched by a United States car maker, Tesla Motors Inc. in China. A major setback that has been reported by industry observers and auto makers is lack of essential charging infrastructure. For this reason, it has been challenging to attain large-scale electric car sales.

Several auto makers are of a different opinion or stance, in that, they are laying emphasis on plug-in hybrids. They are advocating for vehicles that allow users to plug into electric outlets. Such vehicles can operate on either electricity or gasoline. Plug-in hybrids slightly differ from complete hybrids. The most popular model is the Toyota Prius, which has batteries to support traditional engines.

According to the managing director of consulting firm Automotive Foresight, Yale Zhang, the popularity of plug-in hybrids is still low in China’s car market. Approximately 11, 410 electric and 1,500 plug-in hybrid cars were sold in China in 2013. The plans to roll out more models have been announced by other companies including Volkswagen. In November, Volkswagen made clear its intentions to launch 15 electric and plug-in hybrid car models by the year 2018 in China. The government of China hopes to have at least five hundred thousand electric and plug-in hybrid cars by next year on its road. The country aims at having five million of such car models by the year 2020.


Filed under: Electric Cars,hybrid cars

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