Volvo plans electric auto for 2019

GM announces China version of hybrid Volt

Toyota has said it will locally build plug-in hybrids and sell them in China, starting in 2018, although it has not said when all-electric auto models would hit Chinese showrooms.

Electrification plans have been put in place by Volvo from as early as as 2015 with confirmation coming at the Shanghai Auto Show that the first full EV would be based in the 40 Series range of vehicles.

General Motors Co. has announced plans to manufacture and sell a gasoline-electric hybrid version of its Chevrolet Volt in China.

The Chinese vehicle market soared past the United States eight years ago to become the planet's top market and in 2016 set a 26th straight annual sales record.

The industry is rattled by Beijing's proposal to require that electric cars make up 8% of every brand's production as soon as next year.

"It's clear that China wants to take a leading role globally in terms of the regulatory environment and electrification", said David Schoch, Ford's president for the Asia-Pacific.

The Chinese team is capable of developing entire vehicles, rather than merely customising designs originated in Europe, Daimler Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said, adding that how R&D would be divided between China and other Mercedes-Benz research centres remained to be seen.

The vehicle will be made by GM's joint venture with a state-owned automaker, Shanghai Automotive Industries Corp.

Whatever form the new Volvo electric vehicle takes, it's likely to be among the safest cars you can buy.

On Tuesday, Volkwagen AG announced plans to launch a pure-electric auto in China next year with a state-owned partner.

Some brands promise a range of up to 200 kilometres (120 miles) on one charge.

Sales were boosted previous year by the government's temporary halving of a 10-percent purchase tax on small-engine cars in late 2015.

Ford's Schoch said that as manufacturing volume of batteries - an electric car's most expensive component - expands, costs should fall, making them competitive with combustion engines.

The push for electrification in China is an extra stress for vehicle manufacturers at a time when sales growth is falling and competition is on rise in a market they are depending on to drive worldwide income. It is developing a fully electric auto on its Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) as well. The company says it plans to develop plug-in hybrid versions of all its models.

The total of 1,400 sedans, SUVs, minivans and other vehicles displayed at the show include 63 electric or gasoline-electric hybrids from global brands and 96 from Chinese manufacturers, according to the organizers.

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